Bulletin Edition #346 April 2017

Isaiah 33: 20: Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities:
We behold that we are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses, the spirits of just men made perfect.  Not one has ever been plucked out of his hand.  We behold the King in his beauty–Jesus the Author and Finisher of faith who despised the shame and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God–the Mediator of the everlasting covenant–whose blood demands our eternal salvation. We behold “the LORD our judge, the LORD our lawgiver, the LORD our king; he will save us.”  Our Lord promises his lame children that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Though our iniquities are many, our gracious Lord says in Christ, thy sins are forgiven!
Clay Curtis.

Covenant Mercies
Tom Harding
Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. (2 Sam.23:1-5)

Sometimes the last words of a man are regarded, remembered and sometimes even recorded for all to read and think upon. Certainly this is true of David. God is about to call him home to glory, in this special time, he found his comfort, hope, and salvation in God’s covenant of mercy and grace revealed in Jesus Christ, Who is the Surety of the Covenant (Heb. 7:22). Although David had won many victories, even reigned over Israel for forty years as God’s King, and was used of God to write many Psalms, his hope of salvation was not what he accomplished, but rather in Christ alone. David describes the hope of every believer in verse five (2Sam. 23:5). Although we are sinners (Psalm 51:5), although we are guilty before God (Rom. 3:19), although we deserve nothing but judgment and God’s wrath (Rom. 6:23); yet, God delights to show mercy because of the eternal covenant of grace made with Christ Jesus before the world began (Heb. 13:20). Our sinful condition does not hinder His almighty purpose and grace in Christ (Dan.4:35; Ro.5:6).
Remember these five things about this covenant of grace in Christ!

1). This covenant of grace is everlasting!

Everlasting in its council. Before there was a sinner there was a Saviour. Before Adam fell, the Surety stood (Rev.13:8). Everlasting in its continuance. Whatever God does it shall be forever (Eccl. 3:14). Everlasting in its consequences. The believer is predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-30).

2). This covenant of grace is ordered in all things!

The mercies and grace of God are not left to luck, chance nor the sinner’s depraved will, but to the determinate council and purpose of God (Eph. 1:3-6). This places the accomplishment of our salvation not in our hands, but in the hands of Christ alone, Who cannot fail (Isa. 42:4). Salvation is of the Lord!

3). This covenant of grace is sure!

It stands upon a sure foundation. The Lord Christ Jesus is the foundation upon which this covenant rests, He is the solid Rock (2 Tim.2:19; Isa. 28:16).

4). This covenant of grace is all my salvation (Heb. 13:20)!

It is completely upon Jesus Christ, His person, sacrifice and righteousness that the believer has any measure of confidence in salvation. Jesus Christ is not a way, He is the Way, Truth and Life ( John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Col. 2:9-10).

5). This covenant of grace is all my desire!

We rejoice in Jesus Christ and have no confidence in the flesh. We desire to know more about Jesus Christ and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him (Phil. 3:3-9). This is the earnest desire of every believer (Matt. 11:25-28; 1Pet. 2:2)!

And sitting down they watched him there;

I have often read this verse with wonder. How could these men just sit down and watch the Lord Jesus Christ die on that wretched piece of lumber? What were they thinking as they sat there looking up and seeing this bloodied piece of humanity ready to extinguish and take His last breath?

Perhaps the real question for you and I is: what do you see when you look at this one hanging upon the tree? Do you see the will of God played out to an exact measure and predetermined decree? Do you see the only way in which God could be both just and yet justify the ungodly? Do you behold the wonder of a full and complete humility that was never nor shall ever be seen again? Do you see the perfect method of substitution for vile sinners such as you and me? Do you see, as you sit there in your pew, the result of a total and absolute salvation and forgiveness wrought out for us in this one as He bore our sins on His body on that cursed tree?

I wonder, when the gospel of His free and sovereign mercy is proclaimed, do we behold our darling Redeemer dying a sinners death for worms like us, or are we just sitting there watching and listening in an ignorant stupor playing religion and wasting time as these men did?

Oh may the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ be all and everything to us who have tasted that He is gracious.
Drew Dietz.

Oh! The sweet thought to my soul: under all the condemnation of the law, and the curses due to the breaches of it; Jesus is the Mediator, and the Fulfiller of the law, and the complete righteousness of his people.  Be thou, my honored Lord, the glorious Head, and Husband, of thy whole family.  Thou art indeed the all in all, to the whole seed of Abraham; for in thee shall thy people, in all nations, be blessed.–Robert Hawker

The man Christ Jesus
This Man is no ordinary man. This Man is himself God. He is the God-man. He became a man that he might redeem men. He lived in this world as the Representative Man, the Representative of God’s elect. He lived the full age of a man in perfect obedience to the will and law of God to establish righteousness for men, even the righteousness of God, by magnifying the law and making it honorable. Then, when his hour had fully come, this Man, the God-man, our Lord Jesus Christ, died upon the cursed tree as our Substitute, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” Now, this Man, who as a man put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, is seated upon the very throne of God in glory, accepted as a man, with God! Hear the good news of that fact. — Since there is a Man in glory, accepted of God, there may be another, and another, and another! Because this Man, the God-man, is in glory, “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him!”

Who is he?

This man, the Lord Jesus Christ, is “the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of his person.” Christ is both God himself and the singular revelation and expression of the glory of God. “The reference,” Henry Mahan wrote, “is to the sun and its rays. The Father and the Son are the same as the sun and its rays. One is not before the other, and they cannot be divided or separated. He is the perfect revelation and the exact image and character of the Father (Isa. 9:6; John 1:1-3; 10:30; 14:8-10; Matt. 1:21-23).”

What has he done?

Much needs to be said in answer to this question; but allow me to simply declare that which is the essence of all our Savior did as the God-man, our Mediator. The Lord Jesus Christ has “by himself purged our sins!” The Lord Jesus, of himself, by himself alone, and by the sacrifice of himself, made atonement for all the sins of God’s elect. He took our sins upon himself, bore them, and died under the penalty of them, thereby abolishing them completely and forever (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:26; Col. 1:19-22; Isa. 53:4-6).

Where is he now?

He is yonder in glory, where more than two thousand years ago “he sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.” The “Majesty on high” is God the Father to whom majesty belongs and who is clothed with majesty. His right hand is the place of power, greatness, acceptance, and glory. There sits the Man, Christ Jesus, and all his elect in him. We have been made to sit down with him in heavenly places!

“There, like a man, the Saviour sits; the God, how bright he shines;
And scatters infinite delight on all the happy minds.”

Do you see him?

“The head that once was crowned with thorns, is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns that mighty Victor’s brow.
No more the bloody crown, the cross and nails no more:
For hell itself shakes at his frown, and all the heavens adore.”
Don Fortner

“Hallowed be thy name.” (Mt 6:9)
God’s saints are worshippers of God. Our Master taught us that when we pray we are to acknowledge that God’s name represents God’s very being. He is holy. We gladly glorify him as such. Our chief desire is for God’s name to be honored, magnified and glorified. “The LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” (Lev 10: 3) Since he has taught us the great things he has done for us in his beloved Son, we call none holy and reverend but our God and Father in heaven. “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Ps 111: 9) The very purpose for which God sent his Son into this earth was to hallow his great name! In his high priestly prayer, Christ said, “I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (Jn 17: 4)

One of the saddest, surest indications that we live in a godless generation is how often we hear God’s name dishonored in everyday speech. We have even invented new ways of taking his name in vain. Everyday people everywhere text those three letters “omg.” It is amazing that so many hate God, even claiming God does not exist, yet his name is vainly on their tongues every other breathe. Boys and girls, men and women, never ever use God’s name in any vain way! God is holy! “Hallowed be thy name!”
Clay Curtis.

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