Bulletin Edition January 2019

Here We Stand
We seek to uphold, explain, promote and preach the message of God’s free grace in Christ and the absolute necessity of divine power to initiate, apply and secure the salvation of sinners. We do not look to man to save himself for we know he cannot. We do not appeal to men to save themselves for we know they cannot. We believe God’s grace alone can save a soul, and we try to say it clearly.
This means we have no time for the teaching that man has a freewill with which to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation. We do not believe God has saving love for everyone, nor a will to save everyone. We do not hold there is grace from God for everyone. The nature of our sovereign almighty God and the existence of hell and judgment preclude such ideas. We do not believe the Lord Jesus Christ died for everyone on the cross nor that His death was ever intended to redeem and atone for any but those called in scripture God’s elect from every nation, from before the foundation of the world.
We believe all men and women have sinned and are enemies of God by nature. We believe, nevertheless, God the Father in eternity chose a people to justify and recover from their lost state. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, came into the world to save those chosen individuals and effectually did so by His death on the cross. We believe God the Holy Spirit quickens and converts those for whom Christ shed His blood through the preaching of saving grace and divine mercy in the gospel. We believe, once saved, those blessed individuals never will be, never can be, lost and will most certainly spend eternity in heaven in the presence and company of their God and Saviour.
We believe God in His three persons has done everything necessary for the salvation of His chosen people and there remains nothing for them to do. Beyond Christ’s sacrifice there are no works of obedience required, either to make the elect eligible for salvation, or to enable them to keep their salvation. Grace is not of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. Everything necessary for salvation is a good gift, a perfect gift and it comes from the sovereign God.
These beliefs separate us from a large part of today’s Christian church who seem neither to understand the nature of God nor the nature of man. They preach of common grace flowing from universal love, and of a frustrated desire on God’s part to save everyone. They believe Christ’s blood redeemed everyone but fails actually to save anyone. They believe in a Holy Spirit who courts the wicked with offers of mercy, but ultimately bows to man’s will and withdraws defeated. We have no sympathy with this message and we can have no fellowship with its promoters.
The essence of the gospel is good news. Good because salvation is a sovereign work of grace. Good because the Lord Jesus Christ actually achieved and accomplished all our peace with God as our substitute on the cross. Good because no part of our deliverance is dependent upon our weak, wayward flesh. This is where we stand. This is what we believe. This is the heart of our message. This is the gospel of sovereign grace.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).
Extract from http://go-newfocus.co.uk/editorial/app/category/editorial/article/here-we-stand
Peter L Meney

‘My sin is ever before me’
Read Psalm 32:1:11
The words are used throughout the Bible to describe the moral depravity of our race. God’s judgment falls upon men because of iniquity, transgression and sin.
Iniquity is the perverseness of my righteousness. It is missing the mark, failing short of that which is required by the law of God. How far short do we fall? ‘We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags’ (Isa. 64:6). My best thoughts, best ambitions, best desires and best deeds are so polluted with sin that in the sight of God they are as vile and obnoxious as discarded menstruous cloths.
Transgression is the perverseness of my evil works. It is the contemptuous disregard of God’s law, walking contrary to the law and violating the law by willful rebellion. Every thought, word and deed that is contrary to the law of God is transgression. It is the breaking of God’s law.
Sin is the perverseness of my being. This is what I am. This is the source of all transgression and iniquity. My heart by nature is a foul, polluted cesspool in which every manner of evil imaginable grows (Matt. 15:19). It is a garrison of enmity against God (Rom. 8:7). The evil I do is terrible; but the evil that I am is worse by far. I hate what I do; but I hate what I am more.
If we would obtain mercy from God, we must confess our sin. (Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). This is more than merely saying, with Judas, ‘I have sinned.’ It is a heartfelt acknowledgement of our guilt and depravity. We must acknowledge the evil of our righteousness, the evil of our wickedness and the evil of our nature, so that we take sides with God against ourselves (Ps. 51:1-5).
I rejoice to know and to declare to you that through the merits of Christ’s righteousness and shed blood God is faithful and just to forgive iniquity, transgression and sin. (Exod. 34:6-7; 1 John 1:9). This is the good news and glad tidings of the gospel. If we acknowledge and confess our sin God will forgive our sin. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanses us from all sin. Don Fortner


The Doctrines of Grace

Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature; therefore, he will not — indeed he cannot — choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ — it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation, but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation. Faith is God’s gift to the sinner — not the sinner’s gift to God.

God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God’s choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected, He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only, and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which united them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.

In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected — it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, and to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible — it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit — are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God, and thus persevere to the end.

“Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this—it is possible you may not; but I believe you will before you enter Heaven. I am persuaded, that as God may have washed your hearts–He will wash your brains before you enter Heaven!” – Spurgeon


The believer’s eternal confession!

(John MacDuff, “The Night Watches”)

“By the Grace of God — I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10

This is the believer’s eternal confession!
Grace found him a rebel against God — it leaves him a son of God!
Grace found him wandering at the gates of Hell — it leaves him at the gates of Heaven!
Grace devised the scheme of Redemption. Justice never would; Reason never could. And it is Grace which carries out that scheme. No sinner would ever have sought God — but “by grace.” The thickets of Eden would have proved Adam’s grave — had not grace called him out! Saul would have lived and died the haughty self-righteous persecutor — had not grace laid him low! The thief on the cross would have continued breathing out his blasphemies — had not grace arrested his tongue and tuned it for glory! “Out of the knottiest timber,” says Rutherford, “God can make vessels of mercy for service in the high palace of glory!”
“I came, I saw, I conquered!” may be inscribed by the Savior on every monument of His grace. “I came to the sinner; I looked upon him; and with a look of omnipotent love — I conquered him!”
Believer, you would have been this day a wandering star, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever! You would have been Christless, hopeless, and portionless; had not grace constrained you! And it is grace which, at this moment, “keeps” you. You have often been a Peter — forsaking your Lord — but brought back to Him again. Why have you not been a Demas or a Judas? “I have prayed for you — that your faith fail not!” Is not this your own comment and reflection on life’s retrospect: “Yet not I — but the grace of God which was with me!”
Seek to realize your dependence on this grace every moment.
“More grace! more grace!” needs to be your continual cry.
His infinite supply — is commensurate with your infinite need.
The treasury of grace, though always emptying — is always full.
The key of prayer which opens it — is always at hand!
And the Almighty Bestower of the blessings of grace — is always “waiting to be gracious.”
The recorded promise can never be cancelled or reversed: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
The grace of God is the source of lesser temporal blessings — as well as of higher spiritual blessings. Grace accounts for the crumb of daily bread — as well as for the crown of eternal glory! But even in regard to earthly mercies, never forget the CHANNEL of grace: “through Christ Jesus!” It is sweet thus to connect every blessing, even the smallest and humblest token of providential bounty — with Calvary’s cross — to have the common blessings of life stamped with “the print of the nails!” It makes them doubly precious to think, “All this flows from Jesus!”
“By the Grace of God — I am what I am!” Reader! seek to dwell much on this inexhaustible theme!

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