Bulletin Edition December 2018

Acts 13:48

Paul had preached the gospel clearly in power of the Holy Spirit. When
the Jews heard the message, they walked out in angry protest; but the
Gentiles desired that it be declared to them again (v. 42). When the
Jews heard the story of substitutionary redemption, “they were filled
with envy and spoke against those things…contradicting and
blaspheming”; but when the Gentiles heard it “they were glad” (w. 45,
48). When the Jews heard the gospel of the grace of God, they despised
it, rejected it, and put it away from themselves, judging themselves to
be unworthy of everlasting life; but the Gentiles “glorified the Word of
the Lord” (vv. 46, 48). What made the difference? Luke gives the answer
in plain, simple, unmistakable words: “As many as were ordained to
eternal life believed.” The doctrine of the text is undeniable – All who
believe the gospel were from eternity ordained by God to eternal life.
And all who were ordained by God to eternal life shall believe the
gospel. God will save his own elect.
Don Fortner.

I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not
fulfill the lust of the flesh. ~Galatians 5.16

No amount of goodness on the part of the unbeliever can unite him to God
and His blessings, and no amount of sin on the part of a believer can
separate the believer from God and His blessings. The natural man cannot
receive this glorious truth taught by the Spirit of God, and, since it
sounds like foolishness to him, he rejects it in favor of some
legalistic system of self-produced righteousness. The legalist thinks
that such a message will lead people to indulge their flesh in a flood
of sinful activity. What he does not realize is that, while it would
likely lead him to such a life, it would never lead a child of God to
that sort of life.

In truth, it is exactly the opposite as the legalist believes:
Concerning the one who has been born again by the Spirit of God, the
more he is able to lay hold of the truth of God’s great grace toward
him, the less he is likely to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, for
believing the gospel of grace and approaching God on no other foundation
other than His grace in Christ is exactly what it means to walk in the
Spirit – to believe that our actions can neither help nor hinder our
salvation for all has been accomplished by Jesus Christ. It is a miracle
of grace that the more we are able to lay hold of the truth that, in
Christ, our sin cannot harm us, and our righteousness cannot help us in
any eternal sense, the less we will pursue a sinful course.

So, child of God, would you like to be less troubled by temptation and
sinful failure? Then fully lay hold of the truth that, in Christ, you
have no sin! ~Joe Terrell

“…Wisdom and spiritual understanding” Col. 1:8

Which comes first, understanding or believing? Most would assume you
cannot believe that which you don’t understand. This reasoning puts man
as the standard of truth. He judges what is worthy to be believed by
what he is able to understand. Adam’s fall in the garden was motivated
by a temptation to be God. Nothing has changed. Men are still standing
in judgment of God, putting their reason above God’s revelation. God
says; If you will not believe, you shall not “be established”
(understand) Is. 7:9b. Truth is, nothing we believe can be fully
understood. However, the understanding God gives us only comes after the
heart is brought to bow in submission of faith. God’s prophets and
preachers have never been called on by God to prove anything to men.
They are called of God to preach, proclaim, herald, declare, “thus
sayeth the Lord”. God’s sheep, when given a heart to believe, hear His
voice and follow Him. The “potsherds” (shards of broken clay pots) of
the earth will always strive with their Maker. Is. 45:9. The vessels of
honor will always be pliable clay in the hands of the Potter. ~Greg

Christ reveals himself to his chosen vessels of mercy. He will not leave
them in darkness. They shall know they are his. “That thou mayest say to
the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves”
(Isaiah 49:9). Christ sought her out when she was healed. He would have
her to know she is his Daughter. So it is for every sinner saved. They
shall know that Christ died for them. He paid for them by shedding his
own blood to put away their sins. He made a covering with his own
precious blood to hide us from the wrath of God. He clothes us in the
white robe of his righteousness. We shall not need to hide in fear or
shame before God who sits on the throne to judge the hearts and deeds of
men. We shall be joyfully presented to the Father unashamed, for Christ
died to cleanse us of our iniquity. And Christ arose from the grave to
give us life in him. “In the body of his flesh through death, to present
you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians
1:22). “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness
before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with
all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13). Pastor Eric Lutter

Augustine once said: “To be assured of our interest in Christ is not
arrogance, it is FAITH. It is not pride; it is DEVOTION. It is not
presumption; it is GOD’S PROMISE.” If assurance of salvation rested in
my works, it would be presumption (even foolishness); but we believe God
will receive all who come to Him in Christ Jesus.

Do You Believe on the Son of God?
Don Bell

Has God the Holy Spirit given you faith in Christ? Do you suddenly,
unexplainably find yourself trusting Christ, looking to him for
salvation? If you do, it is because God has given you his gift of
eternal life. — “He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting
life…Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ hath everlasting
life.” You could not and would not believe were you not born of God. You
do not need to know when you began to believe, who was preaching when
you began to believe, whether you have repented enough to be a believer,
or whether you believe enough to be a believer. — “Dost thou believe on
the Son of God?” If you do, if you find yourself trusting Christ, I say
to you as Ananias said to Saul of Tarsus, who suddenly found himself
believing on the Son of God, “The God of our fathers hath chosen
thee…arise, and be baptized.” Do not delay. Obey your Lord and Savior,
identify yourself with him and confess him. — “He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved.”

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (JOHN 10:27)
Beloved, we follow Him. Why do we follow Him? Why do we follow the LORD
our righteousness? Because beloved, as the Psalmist puts it ever so
blessedly He “set us in the way of His steps” (PSALM 85:13). How does He
do that? Beloved, He grants His sheep to hear His word, to hear His
voice and are made to know the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, He goes
before us; indeed, every step we take the Lord took first and we follow
Him who is our righteousness. AMEN! Pastor Joseph Murphy

“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put
the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be
enquired of at all by them?” (Eze 14:3)

God is speaking of the elders of Israel that came each day and sat
before Ezekiel to hear a message from God. (v1) They came with the
offerings God commanded in his law. Outwardly, they appeared to be true
worshippers of God. Yet, God looks, not on the outward appearance, but
on the heart. God said that though they appeared outwardly to worship
God, in their hearts they had set up their idols and put the
stumblingblock of iniquity before their face.

Though they pretended to sit in God’s house and hear God’s prophet and
seek God’s counsel, they set their idol god before their face. The
“stumblingblock of their iniquity” God called “the greatness of thy
way.” No matter what God’s messenger declared to be the word of God,
they preferred their own word, their own wisdom, their own will, their
own traditions, their own ways and rejected the clear declaration of
God’s word: they sought other places to assemble rather than with God’s
people (Is 57: 5); they exalted themselves and their understanding of
God’s word rather than bow to God’s word (Is 57: 7); they hid the truth
of God behind the doorpost while they embraced every false way for the
sake of gain (Is 57: 8); they used means and methods of worship which
were not ordained by God (Is 57: 9-10); they found life by their own
hand therefore they were not grieved over their sin (Is 57: 10); they
feared man—father, mother, son and daughter—and were more fearful of
offending them rather than fearing God and being fearful of offending
him (Is 57: 10). God called their iniquity a stumblingblock because they
not only caused themselves to stumble by their perversity but they
caused others in their sphere of influence to stumble.

Brethren, each depraved sinner has a god crafted in the imagination of
his own heart. Every unregenerate sinner, though he may profess to
believe the true and living God in truth, thinks the true and living God
is like the idol he has carved out in his own heart. Never think that
idolatry—or any other sin—is only sin when it is manifest outwardly.
Outwardly these men appeared genuine. The sin was in their heart.
Depraved man always looks to himself: his wisdom and word rather than
Christ our Wisdom who is the Word of God, his works rather than Christ
our Righteousness, his holiness rather Christ our Sanctification, his
bondage rather than Christ our Redemption. The law only works in his
depraved heart concupiscence—the desire for the very thing the law
forbids—which is summed up on the first commandment which he breaks—he
makes himself to be his god. God must create in us a new man, giving us
a new spirit, which is after God created renewed in knowledge after the
image of Christ who created him.
Clay Curtis.

Comments are closed.