Bulletin Edition October 2017

1 Pet. 5:7
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”–1 Pet. v. 7.
Yes, blessed Jesus, I would cast all upon thee: sins, sorrows, trials, temptations. Thou art the Almighty Burden-bearer of thy people; for the Lord Jehovah hath laid on thee the iniquity of us all. And as thou bearest all our sins, so thou carriest all our sorrows. And dost thou not bear all the persons of thy redeemed? Dost thou not bear all our troubles, all our exercises, all our temptations, trials, difficulties? The government is upon thy shoulder; the care of the churches is all with thee. And shall I not cast all my care upon thee? Shall I be careful for many things, while Jesus saith, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee?” Oh for grace to sit loose to all things, and to leave all things with thee. Lord, do thou bear me up when I am falling, support me when weak, uphold me against all mine enemies, carry me safe through a life of grace here–and, finally, bring me home to thy glory, to behold thee, and dwell with thee for ever.
Robert Hawker

A sinner is a sacred thing; the Holy Ghost hath made him so.
(from an old hymn)

To the unregenerate man, the words of this hymn, on the surface, appear close to blasphemy. A sinner a sacred thing? The Holy Ghost made him so? Yet these words are the truth! There are a lot of hypothetical sinners, a lot of theoretical sinners, but very few real sinners. Real sinners believe themselves destitute of personal righteousness. They cannot not sin. It was the Holy Spirit who taught them what they are. And what a blessed thing it is to be a real sinner. For every real sinner there is a real savior. It is only as sinners that we can come to Christ. It is only as sinner that we can hear the gospel as good news. It is only as sinners that we can truly rejoice in the grace of God. It is only as sinners that we can have true fellowship with our brethren – sinners saved by the same grace. It is only as sinners that we trust the savior of sinners. Yes, “a sinner is a sacred thing, the Holy Ghost hath made him so!”
Todd Nibert

The Fear of the Lord
My fear of Thee, O Lord, exults
Like life within my veins,
A fear which tightly claims to be
One of love’s sacred pains.

There is no joy the soul can meet
Upon life’s various road
Like the sweet fear that sits and shrinks
Under the eye of God.

Oh, Thou art greatly to be feared,
Thou art so prompt to bless!
The dread to miss such love as Thine
Makes fear but love’s excess.

But fear is love, and love is fear,
And in and out they move;
But fear is an intenser joy
Than mere unfrightened love.

They love Thee little, if at all,
Who do not fear Thee much;
If love is Thine attraction, Lord!
Fear is Thy very touch.

—F. W. Faber

Sovereign or Superior Grace?
Many, I have found report to believe in Sovereign Grace. They speak of their love for a God who sovereignly elected a people, a Christ who sovereignly atoned for those particular people alone, and a Spirit who sovereignly and successfully regenerates the same chosen people. In their confessions, they boldly and uncompromisingly speak of the “doctrines of grace” as gospel truth. Using scripture, reason, and history, they can debate their position quite convincingly. They seem to stand firm in their belief that ‘Salvation is of the Lord’. They write eloquently about the old paths and gather for Bible conferences to promote a restoration of sound doctrine. I am sure you can tell by my tone thus far that I believe there to be a fly in the ointment. There is, and it stinks to high heaven. The truth is that many of these supporters of “Sovereign Grace” really only believe in a superior grace. Their refusal to declare a man-centered, works religion as soul damning heresy tells me that what they mean by sovereign is really only superior. Their belief that a person can know the Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of a lie tells me that what they mean by sovereign is really only superior. Their unwillingness to renounce their experiences in arminianism as bogus tells me that what they mean by sovereign is really only superior. Words are only as good as the definitions we attach to them. If salvation is only by the sovereign grace of God in Christ Jesus, then truly no lie can be of the truth. John 17:3 And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Many “sovereign gracers” need to repent of two things. The pride of thinking that they have superior truth when really they have not known the Truth at all, and the fear of separating themselves from less fortunate “brethren” who are really not brethren at all.
—Greg Eimquist

Henry Mahan
The sons of God see the grace of God running through the whole of our history from eternity past to eternity future. From our election in ages past to the revelation of God’s sons in glory, IT IS ALL OF GRACE! At no point can you direct your finger and say, “I earned this, I merited this, or I deserved this.”

“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved,
By grace my Substitute appeared,
By grace my heart believed.”

1. IT WAS COVENANT GRACE THAT CHOSE US. Read 2 Timothy 1:9. What is there about elective grace that makes men so angry? Why do they despise it so? It is the Word of God. It is the sinner’s friend. If He had not chosen us, we would never have come to Him.

2. IT WAS INVINCIBLE GRACE THAT PURSUED US Read Galatiansl:15. I don’t know who you are or where you are; but if you are one of His own, He will have you willingly and lovingly.

3. IT WAS REDEEMING GRACE THAT SAVED US. Read Ephesians 2:8. All that the law required, all that holiness demanded, and all that justice expected was supplied in and by Christ. “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”

4. IT IS PRESERVING GRACE THAT KEEPS US. Read Philippians 1:6. The Word of God teaches two things with regard to the security of the saved. In Jeremiah 32:40 we find that God will not forsake them and that they will not depart from Him. “The Lord will give grace and glory” (Psalm 84:11). Glory is nothing more than grace fully developed!

Good Out of Evil
Acts 5: 1-14

The crime of Ananias and Sapphira was that they lied to God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5: 3, 4, 9.) The penalty was immediate death (Acts 5: 5-10.) The result was that the pride and fall of Ananias and Sapphira was worked together for good by God to his church. One, God met a monetary need of his people through the gift brought by Ananias and Sapphira. Two, through taking the life of Ananias and Sapphira, the Lord made those outside of the church fear him so that the church was protected. Three, through his sudden judgment the Lord grew those in the church in true godly fear, in knowledge and understanding of him. Fourthly, the Lord added to the church a multitude both of men and women (Acts 5: 12-14.) These are all examples of how God brings good out of evil.
Clay Curtis.

God’s sovereignty
(Charles Spurgeon)
There is no attribute more comforting to His children, than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials—they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend, than the doctrine of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne.

On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football—as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine, of the sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere, except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne—then His creatures gnash their teeth!

We proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter. Then it is, that we are hissed and execrated; and then it is, that men turn a deaf ear to us—for God on His throne—is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne, whom we trust!

Fear Him!

(John MacDuff, “The Precepts of Jesus”
A guide through life to immortality!)
“Who would not fear You, O King of nations?”
Jeremiah 10:7

How reasonable it is, that this glorious Being, whose
greatness is unsearchable—should be regarded with
feelings of the profoundest reverence. It is, indeed, His
due, and as such He claims it from all His creatures.

“Concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There
is no fear of God before his eyes.” Psalm 36:1

To have no fear of God before their eyes—is at once
the greatest injustice, and the most unutterable folly!
All who have the impudence to lift up their puny
arms in rebellion against Him, are engaged in a
conflict, which, if persisted in, is sure to terminate
in their utter destruction!

Reader, think of His incomprehensible greatness
and majesty. Think of Him as the High and Lofty
One who inhabits eternity—
the heavens His throne,
the earth His footstool,
the light His garment,
the clouds His chariot,
the thunder His voice!

Viewing Him thus—it will be impossible for you to
treat Him with indifference, far less with scornful
disdain. If you are only brought in some measure,
to realize the fact of God’s greatness and majesty,
you cannot fail to acknowledge that He is greatly
to be feared, and to be held in reverence by all
His creatures.

Just so, with all the other attributes of His nature.

Who can think of His power so mighty, so irresistible
—a power which is able to crush us into atoms with
infinitely greater ease than we can tread the crawling
worm beneath our feet—and not fear Him?

Who can think of His knowledge, nothing being
hidden from His omniscient glance, the darkness of
midnight and the splendor of noon, being altogether
alike to Him—and not fear Him?

Who can think of the terrors of His avenging justice,
and not fear Him—especially, as when He proclaims
from His exalted throne, “There is no god other than
Me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the
one who wounds and heals; no one delivers from
My power! As surely as I live, when I sharpen My
flashing sword and begin to carry out justice, I will
bring vengeance on My enemies and repay those
who hate Me!” Deuteronomy 32:39-41
Our God is, truly, a consuming fire! It is most befitting
for us, to regard Him with reverence and godly fear!

It is not those who can deprive us of our present life,
whom we should so much dread. Limited, and of brief
duration—is the power of all mortal foes at best. “Do
not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that
can do no more. But I will show you whom you should
fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has
power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, Fear
Him!” Luke 12:4-5

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