Bulletin Edition November 2018

Where Does Grace Lead?
Some people would have us believe that if we preach pure grace it will lead people to licentious living. They say if we remove the law as a guide or motivation for Christian living, people will have nothing to keep them holy. They say to tell a person to just follow Christ doesn’t provide enough structure and will lead people to careless living. Is that where the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ Jesus leads? Grace preachers have always been, and always will be, falsely accused of this devilish lie. The apostle Paul spent most of his time defending the gospel of grace against this lawmongers view of self- righteousness. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Rom 6:15 No, grace does not lead to sin, grace leads to Christ. Truth is; “The strength of sin is the law.” 1 Cor.15:56. Show me a man preaching the law, and I’ll show you a people with no hope for their sin. ~Greg

Henry Mahan

It is not easy to preach the gospel of free grace because by nature we are prone to get bound by a system. It is very easy to get bound to a creed or a system or denominational guidelines, and then try to make God’s Word fit that system, fit that creed, or fit those guidelines. We begin to hunt what we already believe in the Bible, and that is dangerous. I’ve heard many Arminian preachers tremble lest they go an inch beyond John Wesley, or an inch beyond Arminius, or an inch beyond some other famous free-will preacher. Then I’ve heard some Calvinists, some sovereign grace preachers, who speak as if John Calvin were the final authority. Well, these men are not the final authority…. It is time that the Scripture becomes our final authority…. We are to seek to preach the Word of God — not what Baptists believe; the Word of God, not what Calvinists believe…. I really don’t know any difference in what they call high doctrine and low doctrine. I read these statements, “That’s high doctrine — that’s low doctrine.” Well, if God’s Word teaches it that’s enough; and if God’s Word doesn’t teach it, let’s do away with it.

Henry Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.


“Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee” (Proverbs 9:8).

Someone has said, “Faithful reproofs, if they don’t profit you will provoke you.” God’s prophet, John the Baptist, faithfully rebuked Herod for taking his brother’s wife (Matt. 14:4). Herod’s response to the truth of God was anger and murder toward God’s prophet. On another occasion, the prophet of God, Nathan, rebuked King David for taking Bathsheba to be his wife and for the murder of Uriah the Hittite, her husband (2 Sam. 12:7-14). David, instead of being angry, was humbled and confessed before God that he was a sinner and begged for mercy. David expressed this in Psalm 51, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Now here is the question for us. How do we react to the rebuke of Holy Scripture? Are we humbled and broken hearted? Do we beg God for mercy and forgiveness or do we get angry and upset? Believers are humbled, those who don’t believe God are only angered and enraged.
Pastor Tom Harding

Job’s religion

“Oh that I knew where I might find Him!” Job 23:3

What a mere shallow pretense to vital godliness
satisfies most ministers, most hearers, and most

But there was a reality in Job’s religion.

It was not of a flimsy, notional, superficial nature.
It was not merely a sound Calvinistic creed, and
nothing more. It was not a religion of theory and
speculation, nor a well-compacted system of
doctrines and duties. There was something deeper,
something more divine in Job’s religion than any
such mere pretense, delusion, imitation, or hypocrisy.

And if our religion be of the right kind, there will be
something deeper in it, something more powerful,
spiritual, and supernatural, than notions and doctrines,
theories and speculations, merely passing to and fro
in our minds, however scriptural and correct.

There will be a divine reality in it, if God the Spirit be
the author of it. And there will be no trifling with the
solemn things of God, and with our own immortal souls.

“God made Him who had no sin—to be sin for us” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Behold the beloved Jesus, perfectly spotless and holy—yet made an example of the severest justice.
Behold Him . . .
prostrate and agonizing in the garden;
enduring the vilest insults from wicked men;
torn with whips, and nails, and thorns;
suspended, naked, wounded, and bleeding upon the cross—forsaken by God.
Sin was the cause of all His anguish. He stood in the place of sinners, and therefore was not spared.
Not any, or all, the evils which the world has known—afford such proof of the dreadful effects and detestable nature of sin, as the knowledge of Christ crucified!
John Newton

The cause of all crime, and the seed of every evil!

Could we roll all sins into one mass—could we take murder, blasphemy, lust, theft, immorality, and everything that is vile, and unite them all into one vast ball of horrid corruption—they would not even then equal the sin of unbelief!

Unbelief is . . .
the king sin,
the quintessence of guilt,
the mixture of the venom of all crimes,
the dregs of the wine of Gomorrah,
the root sin,
the masterpiece of Satan,
the chief work of the devil.

Unbelief developed into deicide—and murdered the Lord Jesus Christ!

Unbelief! it has mixed many a cup of poison. It has brought thousands to the gallows, and many to a shameful grave. Many have murdered themselves, and rushed with bloody hands before their Creator’s tribunal, because of unbelief.

Give me an unbeliever—let me know that he doubts God’s Word—let me know that he distrusts His promises and His threatenings; and with that for a premise, I will conclude that the man shall, by-and-by, unless there is amazing restraining power exerted upon him—be guilty of the foulest and vilest crimes!

Unbelief is a Beelzebub sin; like Beelzebub, it is the leader of all evil spirits. It is said of Jeroboam that he sinned, and made Israel to sin; and it may be said of unbelief, that it not only itself sins, but it makes others sin.

Unbelief is the cause of all crime, and the seed of every evil! In fact, everything that is evil and vile lies couched in that one word—unbelief!

1 John 3: 8: He that [apostatizes] is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9: Whosoever is born of God doth not [apostatize]; for [Christ’s] seed remaineth in him: and he cannot [apostatize], because he is born of God. 10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
John showed us that the believer who abides in Christ does so because we are born of our everlasting Father, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, John contrasts us with the apostate, declaring he that apostatizes is of his father, the devil.
“Doing righteousness” means “abiding in Christ” because John contrasts “abiding in Christ” with the child of the devil who commits the same sin as his father the devil, “He that sinneth is of the devil; for the devil SINNETH from the beginning.” What sin did the devil do from the beginning?
John 8:44: Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and ABODE NOT IN THE TRUTH, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it….47: He that is OF GOD HEARETH GOD’S WORDS: ye therefore HEAR THEM NOT, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF GOD.
We will look at the following in more detail next time. But, briefly, notice that John gives glory to Christ, declaring the reason the child of God cannot apostatize is because of Christ’s works for us and in us. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Christ did so on the cross when he Christ crushed the devil’s head and Christ does so in us when he binds the strongman and takes dominion in our hearts in the new birth. Therefore, “Whosoever is born of God doth not [apostatize]; for [Christ’s] seed remaineth in him: and he cannot [apostatize], because he is born of God.”
This is the only manifest unmistakable difference between the children of God and the children of the devil—1 John 3: 10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness [believeth not and abideth not in Christ] is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother…
But the child of God keeps the commandments of our Father—1 John 3: 23: And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, [which is doing righteousness, abiding in Christ] and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24: And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Clay Curtis

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