Bulletin Edition December 2018

A puritan preacher named Thomas Brooks made this true statement concerning faith in the successful, sin-atoning, Lord Jesus Christ of holy scripture, “He that believeth shall be saved, let his sins be ever so great; and he that believeth not shall be damned, let his sins be ever so little.”

If I compel others to believe the truth, which only Christ is able to teach by his grace, then I am as guilty of legalism as the free-willer who boasts in his works. Legalism says “If you don’t believe or practice as I then you must be lost.” Liberty and love thinks no evil, bears their burden, declares Christ to them and waits on Christ to do the work. (1 Cor 13: 5; Gal 6: 1-3; 6: 14-15; Ja 5: 7-8)

We have no ability to save ourselves or others. But God chose weak things to use to save his people. Why? He said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12: 9) Paul was taught to say “when I am weak then am I strong.” (2 Cor 12: 10) We are always weak. But most times we vainly imagine we are strong. It is only when God graciously forces us to confess our total weakness that we depend entirely upon Christ, both to teach ourselves and our brethren. When we depend upon us we become hard and bitter as we force others to believe, being deceived by our helpless legalist self. When made weak so as to cast all care upon Christ we are strong, rejoicing in Christ our Power.
Clay Curtis.

The best commentator on the Word of God is its Author and the best way to learn the meaning of scripture is to go to that Author in prayer. Often I am staggered by script¬ure and I will make use of the commentaries and books by various authors but, at the same time, I also pray, “Lord, open this scripture to me for your glory and for my good.” Whatever men teach you, men can unteach you! But that which God burns into my heart is mine forever! Henry Mahan

“Whosoever shall Call Upon the Name of the Lord”
Romans 10:13
By Don Fortner
Paul here shows us the way of salvation. — “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I like that word “whosoever.” Anybody, any sinner in all the wide world, who does but call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This is the promise of our God in Holy Scripture. If I call upon the name of the Lord, I am saved. If you call upon the name of the Lord, you are saved.
Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord. Salvation does not come by walking a church aisle, talking to a priest, or a preacher, or saying a certain prayer. Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord. Salvation does not come by calling on the name of the Lord and sincerely trying to live for God. Salvation comes by calling on the name of the Lord. Salvation does not come by dreams and visions. Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord. Salvation does not come by feelings and experiences. Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord.
If I am to call upon the name of the Lord, I must know who he is (Romans 10:14-17). I cannot call upon an unknown God. I cannot trust an unrevealed Savior. I cannot believe an unspoken promise. Who is the Lord Jesus Christ? What has he done? Why did he do it? Where is he now? What is he doing there? These things must be known before a person can call upon the name of the Lord. Christ must be made known to you before you can call upon him.
What does it mean to call upon the name of the Lord? Look into the Book of God to see. To call upon the name of the Lord is to worship God (Genesis 4:26). Whosoever worships God, in God’s appointed way, by God’s ordained Mediator, shall be saved.
To call upon the name of the Lord is to pray (1 Kings 18:24). Whosoever shall pray unto the living God from his heart shall be saved. Prayer is the sure sign of life in the heart.
To call upon the name of the Lord is to trust the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:2). The leper came to Christ knowing his need, knowing Christ’s power, submitting to Christ’s rule, and trusting Christ’s mercy.
To call upon the name of the Lord is to publicly profess his name before men, confessing him in believer’s baptism, being immersed, buried with him in baptism (Acts 22:16; Galatians 3:27). Baptism has no saving efficacy whatsoever. It has no merit with God. But baptism is an act of obedience to Christ. It is the King’s command. It is therefore something we are obliged to require of men (Mark 16:16).
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you

for his name’s sake” (1John 2:12).

There is only one reason revealed in Holy Scripture that any sinner

would be pardoned from all sin. That one reason is Christ alone

(Eph.4:32). Christ Jesus was manifested to take away our sin and in

Him is no sin (John 3:5). The only reason for grace, is Christ (John

1:16). The only reason for mercy is Christ (Titus 3:5). The only

reason for salvation is Christ (Acts 4:12). The only reason for

sanctification is Christ (1Cor. 1:30). His name’s sake includes all

these things and much more (Rom. 5:20). Salvation is not because of

our merit, nor our baptism, nor our works, nor our prayers, nor our

repentance, nor our faith; but for the sake of Christ, his blood,

sacrifice and satisfaction; and it reaches to all our sins, original

and actual, secret and open, past, present, and future. The only

reason for our salvation is not found in us, but rather in the Lord

Jesus Christ alone (Isa.43:1-7; 44:21-23).
Tom Harding

“And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Rev. 5:8-9

The song of redemption, sung from a heart made new in regenerating grace, is a song which is fresh in quality and reviving in joy, peace and comfort every time it’s sung in the heart. Its verses proclaim the glory, honor and worthiness of the Lamb and no believer ever tires of singing these choruses with a heart of thankfulness unto God for His unspeakable grace and compassion. This is the new song which proclaims the worthiness of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and the praise that is due Him, because of His substitutionary death at Calvary. Every verse of this new song declares the accomplishment and merit of His precious sacrifice. MS

The Believer’s Position
The believer is perfect in Christ; but in himself he is a poor, feeble creature, ever liable to fall. Oh, the unspeakable blessedness of having One who can manage all his affairs for him at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; One who upholds him always by His right hand; One who will never let him go; One who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever;” One who will bear him through all the difficulties and dangers which surround him and finally present him faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Blessed forever be the grace that has made such provision for all our need in the blood of a spotless victim and the intercession of a Divine High Priest!

Pastor Scott Richardson

If Baptism Doesn’t Save, Why Is It Important?
Todd Nibert
Baptism is a ceremony, and nothing more. There is no saving efficacy in it nor is it a means through which grace is conveyed. But, that does not take away from its importance. The marriage ceremony does not cause a man and woman to love one another. They love each other before they participated in the marriage ceremony. But if they refuse to participate in the marriage ceremony, and live together without it, they say by that, that they do not love one another enough to be totally committed to one another.

This shows how important the marriage ceremony is. There is no true love without it. Baptism is the same. It does not cause salvation. It speaks of a relationship that was already there before the ceremony. And that relationship was caused by what baptism depicts: Union with Christ. For someone to refuse Baptism is like someone who refuses the marriage covenant and ceremony. That person says by their actions, “I do not love Christ enough to commit to Him.” Love like that is not love at all!

Yes, Baptism is important. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you”
(1 Pet. 5:7)
Cares are that which causes anxiety. What a host of cares we have! My sins, fear of the future, fear of that over which I have no control (which is everything!), unresolved conflict, the fear of how I will be provided for or the fear of being unable to provide… all my cares I am called upon to cast upon Him. If I do that, I no longer bare the burden of them. If I continue to bear the burden, I have not cast them upon Him. Why am I to do this? We are given this one glorious reason….“For He careth for you.” If He cares for me, I have no reason to be anxious about anything. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Pastor Todd Nibert

Four things comfort the child of God in trials and afflictions

1. We can trust the God who appoints them. (1 Thess. 3:3)

2. We can trust that He knows our frame. (Psalm 103:14)

3. We can trust that good will always be waiting at the end of the trial. (Romans 8:28)

4. We can trust that one day soon He will, “stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (1 Thess. 3:13) Pastor Gabe Stalnaker

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