Bulletin Edition June 2019

I am weak and ignorant, full of sin and
compassed with infirmity. But I bless God
that He has in some measure shown me
the power of eternal things, and by free
and sovereign grace stopped me in that
career of vanity and sin in which, to all
outward appearance, I was fast hurrying
down to the chambers of death.
(Joseph Philpot)

Henry Mahan

The apostles and the early believers were despised by the religious Jews
because of the gospel which they preached. It was not because they lived
immoral lives, failed to do good works, nor because they were covetous
or proud men. They were persecuted because the gospel of God’s grace,
which they preached, was offensive to human pride. They preached that
salvation, even for the most moral person on earth, is only possible
because of the grace and mercy of God, given to us in Christ Jesus.
These believers knew nothing of free-will, decisionism, and giving God a
chance. They knew only one way of salvation, that of God’s being
gracious and showing sovereign mercy to sinners in Christ. The gospel of
grace and glory does not appear OCCASIONALLY in their preaching and
writings, nor was it a deeper truth or doctrine which they discussed
PRIVATELY; it reigns, shines, and dominates all that they said, wrote,
and did. It is the ONLY THING that they preached! To them, any word of
human worthiness, works, or rights was totally wrong and counted for
nothing in the matter of acceptance before God. They addressed all men
(even themselves) as guilty, condemned, and perishing justly unless God
is pleased to come in mercy and lift the beggar from his dunghill
dwelling, sanctify and justify him through Christ Jesus, and accept him
in the Beloved.

“God be merciful to us, and bless us; and cause Thy face to shine upon
us” (Psalm 67:1).

This is the doctrine that we preach!

(Charles Spurgeon)

This is the doctrine that we preach:
If a man is saved—all the honor is to be given to Christ.
If a man is lost—all the blame is to be laid upon himself.

You will find all true theology summed up in these two short sentences:
Salvation is all of the grace of God!
Damnation is all of the will of man!

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can
boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Throw the creature down in the dust!
(by J. C. Philpot)
Man’s religion is to build up the creature.
God’s religion is throw the creature down in
the dust of self abasement, and to glorify Christ.

The Gospel crucible!

(John MacDuff, “Ripples in the Twilight” 1885)

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God!” 1 Corinthians 1:18

It will never cease to be one of the marvels of Christianity, that her
antidotes are the same in every climate, every age, and every bosom.
Just as the chemist can infallibly pronounce on the action of the
various elements he throws into his crucible — so in the Gospel
crucible, cast the human heart in its every form and type, that of . . .
the degraded African,
the superstitious Hindu,
the ferocious Arab,
the reprobate European —
the Gospel of Christ, by a heavenly alchemy, melts that heart! It
dissolves . . .
the pride of reason,
the power of superstition,
the curse and misery of vice!
It is the only universal balm!

It was tried . . .
on ignorant fishermen of Galilee,
on poor wayside beggars of Judea,
on hardened Roman soldiers and
on crouching slaves of sin and Satan.
It was tried on the great persecutor of the church — and by him on the
disciples of Plato on Mars Hill. It was tried amid the tears of Bethany
— and amid the courtly splendor and uncongenial influences of Caesar’s
household. And in not one of all these varied cases, has it failed!

The king clothed in ermine,
the pauper clothed in rags,
the statesman in his senate-house,
the merchant at his desk,
the artisan in his workshop,
the cottager at her wheel —
all feel the power of the same Gospel, all own the beauteous simplicity
of the same healing words, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — and you
shall be saved!”

If God had left me alone

(by Charles Spurgeon)

Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters
in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in
tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they
have done! I have thought, “If God had left me alone,
and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner
I would have been! I would have run to the utmost lengths
of sin, dived into the very depths of evil. Nor would I have
stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me!”

I feel that I would have been a very king of sinners, if God
had left me alone. I cannot understand the reason why I
am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it
so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of
reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace

A dead dog sinner!

(David Eddmenson)

Upon arriving to services one Wednesday evening to my surprise there was
an old, mangy, rejected, and forsaken dog sitting on the front porch of
the church building. I was appalled and repulsed at the dog’s sad
appearance and horrible condition. This poor creature was in bad shape,
yet all I can remember thinking was, “I wish this dog would go away.”

I am so grateful that when my merciful, gracious, and compassionate
Savior looked upon me, that His attitude was not like mine. “What is
Your servant, that You should look upon such a dead dog as I am?” In my
sight that poor dog was in bad shape — but how much worse do I, a dead
dog sinner appear in God’s sight?

“Christ died for the ungodly!” Romans 5:6

Coming up from the wilderness

(J. C. Philpot, “Coming up from the Wilderness” 1857)

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
leaning upon her Beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5

To come up from the wilderness, is to come up out
of OURSELVES; for we are ourselves the wilderness.
It is our wilderness heart that makes the world
what it is to us . . .
our own barren frames;
our own bewildered minds;
our own worthlessness and inability;
our own lack of spiritual fruitfulness;
our own trials, temptations, and exercises;
our own hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

In a word, it is what passes in our own bosom
that makes the world to us a dreary desert.

Carnal people find the world no wilderness. It is an
Eden to them! Or at least they try hard to make it so.
They seek all their pleasure from, and build all their
happiness upon it. Nor do they dream of any other
harvest of joy and delight, but what may be repaid
in this ‘happy valley’, where youth, health, and good
spirits are ever imagining new scenes of gratification.

But the child of grace, exercised with a thousand
difficulties, passing through many temporal and
spiritual sorrows, and inwardly grieved with his own
lack of heavenly fruitfulness, finds the wilderness

But he still comes up out of it, and this he does
by looking upward with believing eyes to Him who
alone can bring him out.

He comes up out of his own righteousness, and
shelters himself under Christ’s righteousness.

He comes up out of his own strength,
and trusts to Christ’s strength.

He comes up out of his own wisdom,
and hangs upon Jesus’ wisdom.

He comes up out of his own tempted, tried,
bewildered, and perplexed condition, to find rest
and peace in the finished work of the Son of God.

And thus he comes up out of the wilderness of
self, not actually, but experimentally. Every desire
of his soul to be delivered from his ‘wilderness
sickening sight’ that he has of sin and of himself
as a sinner. Every aspiration after Jesus, every
longing look, earnest sigh, piteous cry, or laboring
groan, all are a coming up from the wilderness.

His turning his back upon an ungodly world; renouncing
its pleasures, its honors, its pride, and its ambition;
seeking communion with Jesus as his chief delight;
and accounting all things but loss and rubbish for
the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus his Lord
as revealed to his soul by the power of God; this,
also, is coming up from the wilderness.

No sin can be little!

(John Bunyan)

No sin can be little, because it is committed against the great God of
heaven and earth.

To commit little sins–the sinner must find a little god!

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace!” Ephesians 1:7

“The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Some beloved idol?
“Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the
people are madly in love with them.” Jeremiah 50:38

Have we not all in our various ways,
set up some beloved idol . . .
something which engaged our affections,
something which occupied our thoughts,
something to which we devoted all the energies of our minds,
something for which we were willing to labor night and day?

Be it money,
be it power,
be it esteem of men,
be it respectability,
be it worldly comfort,
be it literary knowledge,
there was a secret setting up of SELF in one or
more of its various forms, and a bowing down
to it as an idol.

The man of business makes money his god.

The man of pleasure makes the lust of the flesh his god.

The proud man makes his adored SELF his god.

The Pharisee makes self-righteousness his god.

The Arminian makes free-will his god.

The Calvinist makes dry doctrine his god.

All in one way or other, however they may differ
in the object of their idolatrous worship, agree in
this: that they give a preference in their esteem
and affection to their peculiar idol, above the one
true God.

“Idols will be utterly abolished and destroyed.”
Isaiah 2:18

There is, then, a time to break down these
idols which our fallen nature has set up.

And have not we experienced some measure of
this breaking down, both externally and internally?

Have not our idols been in a measure smashed
before our eyes, our prospects in life cut up and
destroyed, our airy visions of earthly happiness
and our romantic paradises dissolved into thin air,
our creature-hopes dashed, our youthful affections
blighted, and the objects from which we had fondly
hoped to reap an enduring harvest of delight
removed from our eyes?

And likewise, as to our religion . . .
our good opinion of ourselves,
our piety and holiness,
our wisdom and our knowledge,
our understanding and our abilities,
our consistency and uprightness;
have they not all been broken down, and
made a heap of ruins before our eyes?

Comments are closed.