Bulletin Edition December 2017

Lord make us to see our need
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass (Isa. 40:6-7).

Unless the Lord is pleased to teach us and reveal to us what we are by nature (Eph.2:1-3), we will never see our need for Christ and the gospel of His free grace (Rom.3:24). We will never understand our need of Jesus Christ and His great salvation, unless the Holy Spirit is pleased to move upon our heart (John 6:44-45). Only when He reveals unto us our sinful condition, will we seek His salvation in Christ Jesus the Lord (1 Tim.1:12). Only when He speaks to us about our righteousness as being filthy rags, will we seek His righteousness that is performed and provided freely by His grace (1 Cor. 1:30). Only when God reveals to us our total ruin, will we seek redemption through the spotless blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7). Only when God is pleased to show us how unworthy we are, will we seek Him who is Worthy (Rev. 5:12). Lord, make us to know and see what our need is, so by thy Spirit and grace we can seek thy mercy where it can be found (Phil 3:9; 4:19). -
Tom Harding

If it is the will of God then the believer will suffer from those who oppose us and our Redeemer.  It is better that we suffer for doing that which is right than for doing evil.  But we should not think it strange when men reject us for doing that which is the will of God.

Our Savior suffered from the beginning to the end of his life on this earth.  Self-righteous religious men and rebellious sinners both rejected Christ.  It was because Christ knew no sin.  He always did that which was the will of God his Father.  For this reason, sinners rejected him.  But it was the will of God that Christ suffer.  In the face of all his suffering, Christ proved he is the just One.  So the more men saw him as just, the more they hated him, until at last both religious and non-religious rebels joined together to nail him to the cursed tree.  Yet, this too, was the will of God in Christ in bringing his people to God by the death of the cross.

“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh” the best armor the believer can have in this life is to have the same mind as Christ.  His mind was to do the will of God his Father and to lay down his life for his people.  If we have this same mind we can expect to suffer, and that, at the hands of both free-will religion and rebellious sinners, even as Christ.  But the believer who suffers in the flesh because he is not ashamed to stand with Christ, because he has a will to honor God and our Savior, because he is not afraid to be conformed to Christ rather than this present evil world, is a man who has ceased from sin.  It does not mean we are not yet sinners for we are.  But it means the Spirit of God has made us a new creation, giving us a new heart and a new will, to serve our Redeemer in truth according to God’s will, constrained by Christ’s love for us.

Brethren, the world—religious and otherwise—will make us suffer. But stand fast with Christ.  There is no shame in being opposed by this world simply because God has given us a new heart to “no longer live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Wear it as a badge of honor!
Clay Curtis.

Don’t believe every preacher
“Beloved, believe not every spirit.” (1 John 4:1-2)
The word “spirit” signifies to a man who claims to be endowed with the gift of the Spirit to perform the office of prophet, preacher, or teacher. God’s Word is received from the mouth of man, but some who claim to speak for God are false preachers and are sent by Satan to deceive and disturb the church. There were false teachers among Israel, there were false teachers in the days of the apostles and there are false teachers today (2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). Let this fact be fixed in our minds that, from the time the gospel began to be preached, false prophets immediately appeared, and we must not be dazzled by everybody who claims to be holy, to speak for God, to work wonders and to be a minister of righteousness. We must try these spirits (these preachers and religious leaders).

Let all preachers and religious leaders be tried by the Word of God first (Acts 17:11; Isa. 8:19,20). This will expose most of them, for they do not preach the Word of truth at all. Their messages are full of free will, human righteousness, life by law and works, the advocacy of Mary and saints, God’s weakness and inability, sabbath keeping, rituals and holy days, infant salvation and all manner of tradition and open error. But John lays down a special mark by which we can easily distinguish between true and false prophets. Christ Jesus is the object of true faith and the whole foundation of acceptance with God. Therefore, he is also the stone at which all heretics stumble, and his person and work will be the place where error will be most evident.

1. When the apostle says Jesus Christ “is come,” we conclude that he was, before he came, with the Father, co-equal, co-eternal. He is very God of very God (Isa. 9:6).

2. By saying he came “in the flesh,” he means that Christ, by putting on flesh, became a real man, of the same nature with us, that he might become our Brother, except that he was free from every sin and corruption (Heb. 2:14-18; John 1:14).

3. And lastly, by saying that he came, the cause of his coming must be declared, for the Father did not send him here for nothing (Matt. 1:21; Luke 19:10; Isa. 53:10-12; Rom. 3:25,26; Gal. 4:4,5). As some heretics depart from the faith, denying the divine nature of Christ, and others depart from the faith denying the effectual, sufficient and substitutionary work of Christ, leaving the final redemption of men’s souls up to their own free will, works, or co-operative efforts (Heb. 10:11-18).
Henry Mahan

Are you preaching to me
I remember awhile back that a man accused me of taking aim at him with the message. It may be that someone here feels the same way. So let me say to you what I said to him, “I hope I spoke to you this morning.” It was your face on my mind when I sought the Lord for a message. It was your name I called out to God by request. It was your face I saw as I struggled to find the words and illustrations to deliver it. And it was your face that I was thankful to see when I got here. I hope you will always be aware that it is to you I am speaking and I pray that God will be pleased to speak to you again through me. “—how shall ye hear without a preacher and how shall he preach except he be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.” (Romans 10: 4-15)
Darvin Pruitt

Worthless Morality Preaching
Clay Curtis
The morality-preaching that passes for the gospel in our day is accepted partly because the world has become so immoral in our pursuit of happiness that parents think messages against sexual misconduct are better for their children than messages of how Christ has put away the sin of his people. Fact is the reason we are so immoral and in need of common morality is because we’ve been so long without the unapologetic preaching of Christ and him crucified. We can never expect morality in the pew if we immorally prostitute the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ Jesus from the pulpit.

Preaching about Christ or preaching CHRIST
He (the Holy Spirit) shall glorify ME; for He shall receive of mine and show it unto you.”–John 16:14.
The Holy Spirit does not reach after something novel, new, or spectacular in order to glorify Christ or to preach Christ to men. He does not need tongues, fleshly emotion, bodily healings, and creature fame and importance in order to bring glory to Christ and call out His sheep. He finds Christ’s glory IN CHRIST HIMSELF!

If we want to honor Christ, glorify Christ, and preach Christ, we must not look for something outside of Christ; but we must honor Him by preaching that which is His already–His deity, His person, His man-hood, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His intercession, His return! Strange as it may seem, there is today very little preaching OF CHRIST HIMSELF.

Men preach about those who knew Him, who served Him, and who wrote of Him. They preach about His church, His doctrines, and His commandments. They preach series of messages on those who used to preach Christ, on the conduct and conversation of those who profess to know Christ, and on the duties and responsibilities of believers in Christ, but very few messages ON THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST HIMSELF. They read papers and conduct discussions on ways and means to serve Christ, to discipline and organize the kingdom of Christ, and how to honor Christ; and they seldom get around to doing that which God has ordained and commissioned us to do AND THAT IS TO PREACH CHRIST!

Jesus Christ is most glorified, His sheep most edified, His will and purpose accomplished, and His church perfected in faith, hope, and love WHEN WE PREACH CHRIST HIMSELF. The work of the Spirit of God is to reveal to us the beauties of Jesus Christ, AND THEY ARE ALL FOUND IN CHRIST HIMSELF.
Henry Mahan

The Beautiful Feet of Preachers
Maurice Montgomery

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth” (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:13-15).

Note in the verse above that “Thy God reigneth” is an integral part of the gospel. To the degree that preachers have lost sight of the exalted, glorified, sovereign Christ – to the same degree they have let the gospel slip away. The gospel is gospel or “good news” only in the context of Christ’s sovereign power and ability to save sinners who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1; John 5:21,25; Rev. 1:17,18).

“Thy God reigneth” is the very heart of the gospel hope to conscious, convicted sinners. They need a new heart, a new nature, they need LIFE! And no earthly ecclesiastical powers can help them. Only God can give life. Only One who is “mighty to save” can encourage their heart.

Apart from “Thy God reigneth” there is no good news for sinners, Adam’s fallen race. But with the sovereign Christ of Scripture, there is hope for a Saul of Tarsus, for the most obstinate and vile sinner on the face of the earth, for He is able to pursue, subdue, and renew; and He never fails! Lost soul, call upon Him. Call upon Him now. He is a suitable and sufficient, an able and willing Saviour.

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