Bulletin Edition June 2018

The Faith Of God’s Elect
Until we are sensible of our being miserable and helpless in ourselves, we shall not be persuaded of the necessity of a sole trust in another for help and succour. ‘They that be whole need not the physician, but they that are sick.’ This conviction is becoming ‘dead to the law,’ and it is effected by a work of the law upon the heart, in the hand of the blessed Spirit. ‘I through the law, am dead to the law.’ The mind of a sinner is impressed with a wounding sense of his guilt. His sins ‘are set in order before him.’ And he clearly discerns that he stands righteously condemned by the holy law of God, for his numerous violations of it. Upon which he acknowledges that it would be just with God to punish him, in particular, with everlasting destruction from his presence, and from the glory of his power. In this work upon him he is convinced of ‘the plague of his heart,’ as well as of the transgressions of his life. In that divine light which is communicated to the soul, he discovers the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the exceeding sinfulness of his heart, and the spirituality, purity, and extent of the law; whereupon, he concludes, that it is absolutely impossible that one so vile as he is, should ever be able to recommend himself to, or interest himself in, the approbation of God his righteous judge. Thus he sees his lost and miserable and helpless condition in himself, and dies to all hope of life by his own righteousness and works. When the Holy Spirit hath in this manner convinced a man of his deplorable state by nature; and his ‘heart is overwhelmed,’ he leads him ‘to the rock that is higher than he.’ He makes a gracious discovery of Christ to the soul, in his blood, righteousness, and in the fulness of his grace. And, then the language of a poor trembling sinner is: My sins are many, great, and dreadfully aggravated; but the blood of Christ hath a sufficiency of merit in it, to atone for them all. In myself I have no righteousness, nor can have, whereby I may be justified in the sight of God; but the righteousness of Christ is every way sufficient to justify me before God, and to give me a right to life, who am worthy of death. My heart is impure, and ‘without holiness I shall never see the Lord.’ That treasure of grace which is in Christ, it is sufficient to make me holy, and ‘meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.’ Besides, in the light of this grace, a person discerns in some measure, how God is glorified; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and all the divine perfections, goodness, grace, mercy, wisdom, holiness, justice, truth and faithfulness, in this way of salvation; and herein he rejoices, even though himself should not be a sharer in it. The holy resolution of the soul upon this view of things is to renounce all other ways of relief which may be proposed to its consideration, and to cleave to Christ alone as the only proper object of his hope; this it is to flee to him for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us. And this is that faith which is of the operation of God, and is peculiar to the objects of a divine choice to eternal salvation, for which reason, it is called ‘the faith of God’s elect.’
John Brine. “New Focus http://go-newfocus.co.uk”

What Faith Does and Does Not Do
Christ’s redemptive atonement effectually secured the salvation of God’s elect, which we receive through faith.
Faith does not justify us. Christ is our Justification. But faith receives it. Faith does not sanctify us. Christ is our Sanctification. But faith receives it. Faith does not redeem us. Christ is our Redemption. But faith receives it. Faith is not the instrument by which salvation is accomplished. Christ is our Salvation. But faith is the channel through which salvation flows into our souls. And this faith is the blood bought gift of Christ to His elect, redeemed people.
Peter Meney. “New Focus http://go-newfocus.co.uk”

The Believer’s Rule
If the letter of the law be the only rule that the believer is to walk and live by, then he walks by sight, not by faith; he looks at the things that are seen, not at the things that are not see. It is by faith that Moses saw him who is invisible, and by faith we must look at the things that are not seen, which are eternal.
Paul says, that ‘he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him;’ then faith must be the rule of his coming. ‘We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,’ Romans 5:2 – then faith is the rule of our approach to God. ‘The just (man) shall live by his faith,’ Habakkuk 2:4 – then faith is the just man’s rule of life. ‘We walk by faith, not by sight,’ 2 Corinthians 5:7 – then faith is our rule of walk. ‘Thou standest by faith,’ says Paul, Romans 11:20 – then faith is the rule of a believer’s standing. ‘Whatever ye ask believing ye shall receive,’ says Christ; – then faith is the rule of that branch of worship. ‘By faith Enoch had this testimony, that he pleased God; but without faith it is impossible to please him,’ Hebrews 11:5,6 – then faith is a rule that God approves of and is pleased with. ‘Whatsoever is not of faith is sin’ – then faith is a perfect rule of holiness. ‘He that believes is justified from all things, from which he could not by the law of Moses’ – then faith is our rule of righteousness. It is by faith that we overcome the world. To lay hold on eternal life, is to fight the good fight of faith, according to Paul; ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith’ – then faith was the rule of his warfare, and the rule of his race; and it was the grace of God that made Paul obedient to that rule. ‘We have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith,’ Romans 1:5; that is, by Christ we have received grace to save our souls, and apostleship to be of use to the church, not as a reward of our obedience but to furnish us with power, to make us obedient to the faith, among all nations for his name, Romans 1:5 – then faith is the rule of apostolic obedience; for it cannot be called receiving grace for obedience to the faith, if faith be not the gracious man’s rule of obedience.
Paul counts all things but dung that he may win Christ, and be found in him; not having his own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, and tells us to ‘walk by the same rule, and mind the same thing’ Philippians 3. If you take this rule of Paul’s to be his pressing forward, or any of his attainments, it is answered, by faith he pressed forward, and by faith he attained; for else his pressing and attaining had been nothing but sin; for whatsoever is not of faith according to Paul’s doctrine is sin.
By faith Christ dwells in our hearts and by faith we dwell in him; and in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creature, which is Christ formed within us: ‘and as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God,’ Galatians 6:15,16. Faith is the rule of life according to the revealed will of God in Christ Jesus: ‘and this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone that seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day,’ John 6:40. Thus faith appears to be the believer’s rule of life, according to the will of God in Christ Jesus and the letter of the law is the bond-children’s rule of life – ‘he that doeth these things shall live in them.’ Let him do according to this rule and he shall live. The law is not the rule of believing, but of doing; ‘the law is not of faith but of works, and the man that doeth them shall live in them,’ Galatians 3:12.
If to see the Son, and believe on him, entitles us to everlasting life according to God’s will, then faith must be the rule of that life; and one would think that, if he that liveth and believeth shall never die, faith must be a safe rule to live by.
William Huntington.

TRUE Righteousness
Most modern preachers are preaching against sin without declaring the true nature and character of God, and it just comes out as dos and don’ts and decisions and reformations. The whole process is merely peripheral. Their message reaches only to that which they have done; and consequently, that which they can change. They have never seen what they are; and that which no man can change. Such religion breeds self-righteousness and makes converts who do not need the full, free justifying righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just give them a plan, a proposition, a few things to do, a few rules to follow, a few commandments to keep, and they rest very comfortably. You will hear them talking about free grace, but all the while they are thinking about what they have done or are doing; and this is contrary too grace! TRUE grace brings a TRUE knowledge of God, a TRUE knowledge of self (sin), and leaves the sinner’s attention focused upon TRUE righteousness, righteousness through the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ, righteousness which is obtained through faith alone—a sinner trusting Christ!
Maurice Montgomery

The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God
The Word of truth works the Righteousness of God in a sinner causing us to look nowhere else but to the Lord Jesus Christ our Righteousness. The natural man, in the filthiness and naughtiness of the flesh, never has, nor ever will, produce the Righteousness of God.

By the Word of truth the believer knows that even though we were elected unto salvation in Christ before the world began, we were born into bondage to our own spiritually dead flesh and spirit. The Word of truth will not let the believer forget, that in the deadness of our flesh all our righteous works were only dead fruit (Ro 7: 4-6.) Sin, having dominion over us, would not allow us to deny the flesh by looking to Christ alone but made us constantly defend the flesh–dead fruit. By the dominion of sin, all we could do was think evil, say evil and do evil by thinking, saying and doing everything for the cause of our dead flesh–dead fruit. In this dead state, when our guilty conscious got the best of us, the dominion of sin caused us to look to that same dead flesh in an attempt to make self more acceptable to God–dead fruit. We attempted to clean a dirty floor with a dirty mop. The dominion of sin would not allow us to look to the Lord our Righteousness and confess that in our flesh is no good thing (Ro 8: 5-14.)
Through the Spirit of God, the Word was engrafted within us and gave us spiritual life (v18, 21.) By the Word of truth, God’s holy law threw a spotlight on our persons (our old man–our flesh and our old dead spirit) and said, “Behold, sin!” (Ro 7: 7-13.) In the new spirit of meekness given by God, we put our hands over our mouths and became swift to hear. Christ our King entered in shedding his love abroad in our hearts so that the hatred for God in our old man no longer reigns within (Ro 8: 1-4; Col 1: 11-14.) With new eyes we discovered that when Christ was made sin and died in the flesh, we died in the flesh. Our body of sin was buried in the ground. The Holy Law of God released all claim on us. Therefore, being raised to newness of life with Christ, we regard our old man as dead and buried. We no longer worship God in the flesh but in spirit and in truth (Jn 4: 23, 24; Col 1: 21, 22; 2: 8-14; 3: 1-4.) We are still in this dead flesh, (and too often still look to it) but sin has no more dominion over us to keep us from trusting Christ our all. Before the all-seeing eye of God, our life is hid in Christ. Therefore we no longer look to our dead body for proof of righteousness or for proof of liberty as do the legalist, the antinomian and all dead religionists tittering somewhere between the two. Instead, BELIEVERS LOOK TO CHRIST FOR ALL.
Clay Curtis

Psalm 71:16
In Psalm 71:16 David said, “I will make mention of Thy righteousness, even Thine only.” Why did David make an issue of speaking only of God’s righteousness? Is he saying the obedience and righteous acts of a believer are of little or of no importance? Is he saying there is no such thing as good works in a believer? No, he is not saying that. All true believers do have good works and righteous acts.
David meant first of all that the imputed righteousness of Christ was the only grounds of a sinner’s acceptance before God. Moreover, David also meant that the good works and righteous acts of the believer do not stem from a self-righteousness, but the impartation of God’s righteousness.

But I believe what David meant more than anything else was….. When I examine my acts of righteousness…..I cannot see the difference between my good works and my evil works. My righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and the only hope I have is the righteousness of Christ. This is the only righteousness I feel safe mentioning to God, and this is the only righteousness I feel safe mentioning to men. “I have made mention of Thy righteousness, even Thine only.
Todd Nibert

By Grace Through Faith
Faith is the means of Grace. It is the only means of grace. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. To make anything else a means of grace is to have a works gospel. Whatever is not of faith is sin.
So where does that leave The Preaching of the gospel, Prayer, Worship, the Lord’s Table, the fellowship of the saints, Scripture? These things are means to faith. Thank God for them. He uses them to give faith. When True faith comes through these means, it does not rest its hope in the means. It rests completely in the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is given to us by God’s free and sovereign grace. -Greg Elmquist.

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