Bulletin Edition May 2018

“Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works!” John Newton

Complete Restoration In Christ
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away (Psalm 69:4).

This Psalm, along with Psalm 22, declares unto us the agonies and soul suffering of the cross of Christ (Isa. 53:10), the redemption that was accomplished at Calvary (Heb.9:12), and the glory that followed (Heb. 1:3). In this verse our Lord declared, “I restored that which I took not away.”

In Christ and through His redemptive work He restored unto His people all that Adam had lost in the fall and ruin of all and much more (Rom. 5:20-21). Adam lost the way, truth, and life unto God; Christ Jesus restored unto His sheep, the way, truth and the life (John 14:6). Christ Jesus satisfied divine justice, which He had never offended (Isa. 42:21). He fulfilled the law for us and bore the penalty (Gal. 3:13), which He had never broken (Heb. 7:26). He made complete atonement for sin for which He had never committed (Heb. 2:17; 1Peter 3:18). Christ Jesus also brought in everlasting righteousness for His church, which He had not taken away (Dan. 9:24; 2Cor. 5:21). He gave us a far better inheritance than that which was lost in Adam (I Peter 1:4; Rom. 8:17). Isn’t this complete restoration (1Thes.5:23), complete reconciliation (2Cor. 5:18-20) and complete redemption (Eph. 1:7) in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Tom Harding

Acts 9:31

Believers are men and women who walk in the fear of the Lord. God’s people do not have a slavish dread of God. We are not afraid to speak to him and about him. We are not afraid that he will become angry with us, disinherit us, or punish us for sin. Faith in Christ removes that kind of terrifying fear. Yet, the believer does not think, talk about, or speak to God carelessly, flippantly, without reverence for his infinite, glorious, righteous Being. A true, heart knowledge of the Triune God will produce godly fear in a man’s heart.
The fear of the Lord is simply REVERENCE for him. It is much like the reverence a son has for his father, involving both love and respect. God has won the admiration of his children’s hearts, causing us to reverence him. We reverence his name, his Being, his Word, and his works. All that God is, all that has to do with him, all that he says, and all that he does is held in high esteem by those who know him. This fear of the Lord shows itself in many ways. To fear God is to HATE EVIL. The man who knows God hates the evil of his own heart and life, hates the evil performed by others, hates the evil of false doctrine, which robs God of his glory, and hates those who perpetrate such evil. “Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee?…I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies” (Ps. 139:21-22). Those who fear the Lord are CAREFUL NOT TO OFFEND HIM. We cherish our fellowship with the eternal God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And we take care not to grieve and offend him, because we want nothing to hinder the fellowship we enjoy. The heart that fears the Lord WITHHOLDS NOTHING FROM HIM, no matter how dear and valuable, when he calls for it. To fear the Lord is to WORSHIP HIM. It is to worship God, as he is revealed in Scripture, in our hearts. Such fear of the Lord is PROGRESSIVE. Believers walk in the fear of the Lord. The more a man knows him, the more he fears him. God, grant that I may be found “walking in the fear of the Lord.” Amen.
Don Fortner

Henry Mahan
Are you happy? Yes! but I am not without times of sorrow and depression. Like any human, I weep over loved ones, friends, sickness, death, and disappointment. But I sorrow not as those who have no hope. CHRIST IS MY HOPE! He loved me, gave Himself for me, and will make ALL THESE THINGS work together for my eternal good.

Are you at rest in your soul? Yes! but I am not free from concern and conviction over my sins and my infirmities. I love Christ but not as I should or as I desire. I am satisfied with Him, His mercy, His grace, and His love; but I will never be totally satisfied until I wake with His likeness.

Do you have peace? Yes! but that peace with God, peace of conscience, and peace in any situation or condition is not based on my merit, feelings, nor religious duties. CHRIST IS MY PEACE! He said, “In ME ye have peace. In the world ye shall have trouble.”

Any man or woman who claims continual, uninterrupted joy, rest, and peace in this world is either not telling the truth or has no connection with reality! True joy, rest, and peace are things we enjoy in Christ IN THE MIDST of troubles, afflictions, and infirmities.

Paul’s exhortation was “rejoice in the Lord.” When I am conscious of my weakness, failures, and sins, I rejoice in Christ, my righteousness. When I am concerned about food, clothing, and shelter, I rejoice in Christ, my provider. When I am sick, Christ is my healer. When I am grieved, Christ is my comfort. When I am faced with death, Christ is my life! So it is not necessary to put on a false face and deceive others. We are still human; but our peace, rest, and joy is Christ.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

The Simplicity of Christ, A Resting Place
There is, in the simplicity of Christ, a resting place for the weary soul, a place of calm in the tempest. In the press of life we can lay our burdens at the feet of Him who rules all things. In the grievous experience of our own failures, we can find comfort in Him Who cannot fail.
But I find in the simplicity of Christ another area of rest which I so greatly cherish. Often, I struggle to understand the things of God. In particular, I feel this struggle when I engage with those who deny some aspect of the gospel. Often I have read or heard of some theory of this or that doctrine and have immediately recognized it as false. But when I engage to refute it, I am overwhelmed with the complexity which the enemy inserts into the debate. It seems there are always more questions than I can answer. I get confused. It is then that I find such comfort and rest in the simplicity of Christ.

I may not know WHAT all the answers are, but I know WHERE they are; and I rest in the knowledge that God will reveal what I need to know when I need to know it, and the knowledge He reveals will always be found with in that category of “the simplicity of Christ.” Therefore, I can walk happily in the light I have and likewise leave others to walk in the light they have. I can cease from fretting over how well I am doing in the battle knowing that “the battle is the Lord’s,” and not mine.
Joe Terrell

Creation Work and Rest
The LORD points us back to creation when God rested the seventh day, blessing and hallowing that day (Exodus 20:11.) God did not rest for any other reason than this: there was nothing else to be done because the work was finished (Genesis 2: 1-2.) When you think of the word “Sabbath” remember THE WORK IS DONE! God gave the law to give the knowledge of sins until Christ should come to finish the work of making satisfaction for the sins of his people (Romans 3: 19-20; Galatians 3: 19.)

Salvation Work and Rest
God gave the work of putting away the sin of his people to Christ to finish, to make an end of sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24). Christ finished the work so that there remains no more work to be done (John 17: 4; 19: 30.) God the Father promised Christ that once there was nothing left to do Christ would enter into rest, just as God did when he finished the work of creation, so Christ sat down at rest (Hebrews 1: 3; 10: 11-14.)

The Believer’s Rest
When the Spirit of God writes his law on the heart of his child, he sanctifies his children so that we behold Christ in whom the work of making us accepted with God is finished. Our sins are gone. Through faith we enter into his sweet rest (Hebrews 4: 3, 9-10.) The believer has ceased from his own works, as God did from his because THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO BE DONE!

The Sufficiency of Rest
The rest the believer has in Christ is the full sufficiency of Christ’s perfect righteousness. The law commanded rest in earing time and in harvest. Earing time marks the beginning. Harvest time marks the end. From beginning to end the believer has the full sufficiency of righteousness in Christ. Under the old covenant, the sabbath was always connected with six days of work because it was a conditional covenant. In the new testament the only time the sabbath is mentioned in connection with six days is when a few worms broke the whole law of God, the sabbath included, by rejecting Christ our Sabbath, in favor of their own work of observing a day (Luke 13:14.) The point is, the believers rest is not conditioned upon our works, nor is it a day following a week of work, but our Rest is Christ in whom we are in perpetual everlasting rest beginning to end because he finished every condition necessary for us in the everlasting covenant of grace.

Life in Rest
Earing and harvesting was in order to eat. Yet during the Sabbaths the people were to depend entirely upon God to feed them or they were dead (Exodus 35: 2-3; Exodus 16: 23-30.) Resting in Christ we find that Christ our Bread is full sufficiency of life. If we keep trying to go out and gather our own life when God has said stop working then we are saying that Christ is not sufficient Righteousness for us. Such a one will not stand in the strict judgment of God.

Stretch Out and Rest!
When you read the law commanding us to rest, do you think of doing? Amazing how sinners are able to make a work out of resting.

At the end of a hard weeks work it feels so good to stretch out in a big bed with plenty of covers and rest. So it is when the believer comes to the end of the law and stretches out in Christ, wrapped up in his righteousness. We rest! But there is no rest for the sinner who has not ceased from his own works—the bed is too short and the covering too narrow (Isaiah 28: 20.)

Are you tired of working for acceptance with God? Are you weary and heavy laden of the yoke of oppressive legal religion? Christ said, “Come unto ME, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11: 28-29.) –Clay Curtis

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