Bulletin Edition #249 March 2015

Unto God be Glory

The true and living God is able to do. To do means “to effect or work out or accomplish whatsoever one is pleased to do.”  The true and living God is the mighty, omnipotent God. God is so mighty and so able to do, he tells us beforehand what pleases him then he does it. (Is 46: 10)

If we said that we do what pleases us but we never told anyone beforehand what we are pleased to do then it might be that we had to go to plan b or c because we were frustrated from doing it the way we were pleased to do it. But God tells us from the beginning what pleases him then God does it that way. (Jn 14:29)

What is God pleased to do?  God has told us in the scriptures what God is pleased to do. It pleased God to save through the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor 1: 21); it pleased God for all preeminence and all fullness to dwell in Christ (Col 1: 18-20); it pleased God to save each child through faith in Christ (Heb 11: 6); God calls each child and gives them faith when it pleases God (Gal 1: 15; Jn 6: 37); God gifts and sets each member in his church as it pleases God (1 Cor 12: 18); it pleases God never to forsake one of his children (1 Sam 12:22); God works in each believer by the power of Jesus Christ that which is well-pleasing in his sight. (Heb 13: 20-21; Phil 2: 13); it pleased God in the end to gather all his elect in Christ (Eph 1: 9-10); lastly, Luke 12: 32: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Now notice, all of the things God is pleased to do bring glory to God. They bring his people—the church—to give God all the glory and leave us no room to boast in ourselves.  And this verse tells us that all these things are done in the church by Jesus Christ.  “The pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Is 53: 7) God the Father gave the work to his Son in eternity to bring all the glory to God.  The worlds were made by Christ Jesus to glorify God.  Christ Jesus upholds all things by the word of his power to glorify God.  Christ Jesus is the Head over his church, with all power, over all, to fill all, in all his people, to glorify God.   Christ Jesus works all providence to glorify God.  He shall put down all his enemies to glorify God.  Not one elect child of God shall be lost but all shall be saved by Christ Jesus to glorify God.

Right now, the church in heaven and in earth glories only in God because Christ said,I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” (Ps 22: 22) Christ did so when he walked this earth, but he continues to bring glory to God by the gospel his preachers preach and by commanding it in the heart of his people. (Ps 111: 1) The chief song leader leading the choir of the blessed is Christ Jesus. Have you ever noticed the purpose why every tongue, in the end, shall confess Jesus Christ is Lord? “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php 2: 11)

So then it is impossible for anyone to deny God all the glory in all these things without calling Christ a failure because all of these things are by Jesus Christ.  Oh, sinner, come bowing to Christ’s feet now giving God all the glory, for rest assured, at Christ very presence on judgment day your knee shall bow, your tongue shall confess Christ to be Lord and you shall glorify God.  And for all who do so now, delight that God’s power is working in us by Christ Jesus.   “Unto God be glory in the church by Christ Jesus.”   -Clay Curtis.

Let us not sleep

“Let us not sleep, … but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

I had not seen my darling wife for a long time. But she was on her way to me. And I had made preparations for her arrival. I had for some days exerted considerable time and energy in painting, cleaning, dusting, sweeping, mopping, and tidying the apartment. Just before the hour of her arrival I had a sumptuous meal ready. Then, being quite tired, and having a few minutes before the time to depart for the airport, I sat in an easy chair to watch the news on the television. I was suddenly awakened by the telephone ringing, and then heard my darling ask, “Where are you?”

May I not be so slack in being ready for the coming of my Lord!

But, sadly, many will be so. They have in the past exerted considerable time and energy in what they think is proper preparation for being ready for the coming of Christ, then rested in what they have done, and therefore will be asleep when He returns. There is the decisionist, who “decided for Christ” and was told that was sufficient, and sleeps in his decision. There is the moral reformer, who cleaned up his life and sleeps in his reformation. There is the self-righteous, who believes he has made himself blameless before God, and sleeps in his personal righteousness. There is the “carnal Christian”, who was told he may accept Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, and sleeps in “once saved, always saved”. Manmade religion has manufactured many such places in which one may be deceived into thinking that he sleeps in confidence of being received by Christ when He returns.

Happily for me, my sleep proved only to be embarrassing. Unhappily for those cited above, being “foolish virgins”, their sleep will prove to be fatal (Matthew 25:1-13).

“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (2 Thessalonians 5:6).  Daniel Parks

Are you as righteous as God?

There is a question I would like to ask you. It is a most serious question; it is a telling question. It is this: What is God’s justification for accepting you, and allowing you to be in His presence eternally? The Eternal, Sovereign, Immutable God of heaven and earth will not allow sin to be in His presence. He will only allow those into His presence who are as Holy and who are as Righteous as Himself.

Are you without SIN? Are you as Righteous as God? If not, then He has no justification to allow you into His presence NOW, nor eternally. “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. The soul that sinneth shall die; the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 3:23, 6:23). God is Just. His truth must be upheld, His holiness must be glorified, and His justice must be satisfied. The only way this can be done is “the soul that sinneth die.” God must punish sin; He would not be Just nor Righteous if He allowed one sin to go unpunished. His justice demands “death” for sin. How can you be punished for your sin and be made righteous as God at the same time? Your answer will be very telling. I know the answer, let me tell you.

God sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ into this world as a Sacrifice for sin, a Substitute for sinners. The Lord Jesus lived a perfect, sinless, obedient life before God. The Father testified “This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased.” Christ came into this world as God’s lamb to Die! Why? As the believing sinners substitute. Only God can satisfy God, but God cannot die. Man can die, but man cannot satisfy God. God and man are united in Christ, the God-Man. As God he could satisfy God as Man he could die. God “laid on Him the iniquity of us all, He was wounded for our transgressions, it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, he saw the travail of his soul and was satisfied” (Isa.53).

God inflicted the just punishment for sin, by inflicting death on Christ. This is the reason for the Cross. For whom did He suffer death? For those who believe on him with all their heart and soul. The “wages of my sin was paid” by my Substitute, the Lord Jesus. God’s Justice has been satisfied, his truth upheld, but what about having a Righteousness that satisfies God? The same way our sins were put away is the same way we are made righteous. “God Made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ’s righteousness is GIVEN to them who believe on Him. God is just to justify them who believe On Christ Jesus the Lord (Rom. 3:24-26). Christ Is God’s justification for receiving me, He is also my only justification before God. Sinners are justified by believing not by doing.

Don Bell

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