Bulletin Edition October 2019

The popular gospel is a declaration of man’s rights and God’s obligations… “I have a right to salvation if I want it, and God must give it to me if I ask for it.” The Gospel of Christ is a declaration of God’s rights and man’s helplessness to fulfill any of the obligations…. “Hath not the Potter power (authority) over the clay to make of the same lump one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?” (Romans 9:21) “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10).                       ~Joe Terrell

The ablest minister

(J. C. Philpot, “Meditations on the

Preceptive Part of the Word of God”)

He is the ablest minister who is . . .

soundest in doctrine,

deepest in experience,

most godly in practice.

He must have also a gracious experience in

his own soul of the truths which he preaches,

in their savour, sweetness, and power.


Clay Curtis

1 Corinthians 1: 21: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Due to our fall in Adam, no sinner can know God by own wisdom. The wisest heathen never came to a true understanding of God but worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator (Rom 1: 22, 25). Then God created Israel and gave them his oracles. Yet, left to themselves, the gospel remained a hidden mystery. They worshipped themselves the same as the heathen (Rom 2: 3; Jn 1:11; 1 Cor 2: 8) In the history of the world, not one sinner ever taught himself the things of God, “neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2: 14).

In God’s wisdom, he foreordained that after proving man’s wisdom utterly worthless, Christ would send his preachers and save his people only through preaching which gives Christ all the glory. The Lord Jesus declared that John the Baptist marked the end of the old legal dispensation and the beginning of the new gospel dispensation, saying, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Lu 16:16). Christ even rejoiced in God’s wisdom to hide the gospel from the self-wise and self-prudent and reveal it to helpless sinners, saying, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight” (Lu 10: 21).

Understand, the public preaching of Christ is not God’s “Plan B” as some erroneously teach. God performs in time what God purposed to perform from eternity, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Is 46: 10) It was the wisdom of God to prove man’s total inability to know God by man’s own wisdom. After that, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe from the first hour we believe until the last.

Man-made ministers!

From Spurgeon’s, “The Two Effects of the Gospel”

The ministry has been very often degraded into a ‘trade’.

They are ‘selected by man’, they are crammed with literature;

they are educated up to a certain point; they are turned out

ready dressed; and persons call them ‘ministers’.

I wish them all God-speed, every one of them; for as

good Joseph Irons used to say, “God be with many of them,

if it be only to make them hold their tongues.”

Man-made ministers are of no use in this world,

and the sooner we get rid of them the better.

The Providence of God!

(Don Fortner)

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Predestination is the sovereign, eternal, immutable, unalterable purpose of God almighty, by which He ordained and ordered, according to His own will and good pleasure, all things that come to pass in time.

Divine providence is the daily, constant, sovereign rule of our God over all things for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose of grace in predestination. Divine providence is the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose. Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what He purposed in eternity.

Predestination is God’s purpose.

Providence is God’s execution of His purpose.

Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, accident or by blind fate! Everything that comes to pass in time — was purposed by our God in eternity, and is brought to pass by His wise, adorable, good Providence.

Nothing comes to pass in time — that God did not purpose in eternity, in sovereign predestination.

Nothing comes to pass in time — except that which God sovereignly brings to pass in His Providence.

And that which God predestined in eternity and brings to pass in his Providence is for the good of His elect, and the glory of His name. This is clearly and incontrovertibly the teaching of Holy Scripture (Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 16:4, 9, 33; 21:1; Daniel 4:34, 35, 37; Isaiah 46:9-11; Romans 11:33-36).

Providence is God’s government of the universe. If we have a proper view of God’s Providence, we will see the hand of God and the heart of God in everything — in all the experiences of our lives. Believers ascribe their sorrows, and even the cursing of their enemies — to the hand of their heavenly Father’s wise and good Providence (Job 1:21; 1 Samuel 3:18; 2 Samuel 16:11-12).

God is not idle. He never needs to rest, recuperate, or regroup. God almighty, our God and heavenly Father — is always at work, governing the world. I have frequently heard preachers and religious leaders speak of sickness, poverty and war, sin, crime and cruelty, famine, earthquakes and death — as things over which God has no control. Nonsense!

God’s Providence is as ‘minute’ as it is ‘mysterious’ (Matthew 10:30). Our God has ordained the number of hairs on the heads of all. Not even a worthless sparrow falls to the ground without His decree.

God’s Providence is ‘all inclusive’. God rules everything, great and small, everywhere, and at all times.

He who created all things, rules all things!

Nothing in God’s universe breathes or wiggles contrary to God’s decree (Isaiah 46:9-13).

As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine — so our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good.

Too much joy would intoxicate us.

Too much misery would drive us to despair.

Too much sorrow would crush us.

Too much suffering would break our spirits.

Too much pleasure would ruin us.

Too much defeat would discourage us.

Too much success would puff us up.

Too much failure would keep us from doing anything.

Too much criticism would harden us.

Too much praise would make us proud.

Our great God knows exactly what we need. By His grace, if we are His — we will bow to His Providence, accept it, and give thanks for it.

God’s Providence is always executed in the ‘wisest manner’ possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God. We bow to His will, which is evident in His works of Providence, and say, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”

The God of Providence rules all things well. How we ought to trust Him! Ever remember, our heavenly Father is God all wise, good, and omnipotent. He is. . .

too wise to err,

too good to do wrong,

and too strong to fail!

A faithful minister!

(Letters of John Newton)

“Tychicus is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” Colossians 4:7

Dear fellow pastor,

You have desired a good work — may the Lord give you the desires of your heart. May He give you . . .

the wisdom of Daniel,

the meekness of Moses,

the courage of Joshua,

the zeal of Paul, and

that self-abasement and humility which Job and Isaiah felt — when they not only had heard of Him by the hearing of the ear — but when they saw His glory, and abhorred themselves in dust and ashes!

May you be taught of God — for none teaches like Him — and come forth an able minister of the New Covenant, well instructed to rightly divide and faithfully distribute the Word of truth.

In the school of Christ, you will have to learn some lessons which are not very pleasant to flesh and blood. You must learn to labor, to run, to fight, to wrestle — and many other hard exercises — some of which will try your strength, and others your patience.

You know the common expression, ‘a jack of all trades’. I am sure a minister had need be such a one:

a brave soldier,

an alert watchman,

a caring shepherd,

a hardworking farmer,

a skillful builder,

a wise counselor,

a competent physician,

and a loving nurse.

But do not be discouraged — you have a wonderful and a gracious Master, who does not only give instructions — but power and ability! He engages that His grace shall be sufficient, at all times and in all circumstances, for those who simply give themselves up to His teaching and His service.

“Be an example to all believers . . .

in what you teach,

in the way you live,

in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

1 Timothy 4:12


Clay Curtis

Here are five reasons why God chose the means of preaching to save his people.

One, preaching is how God destroys the wisdom of the wise and prudent—“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Cor 1: 19-20)

Two, God chose to save through preaching because it pleased God—“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Cor 1: 21)

Three, this is how God makes Christ the Power and Wisdom of God unto us—“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Cor 1: 22-25)

Four, it is the means whereby God makes his people nothing so that none of us can glory in God’s presence—“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1 Cor 1: 26-29)

Five, this is the means whereby God brings all his children to glory only in the Lord—“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1: 30-31)

Those are five excellent reasons why every called child of God, taught of God in the heart, bows to God and rejoices that God has chosen the means of preaching Christ’s person and work to save his people.

How few have singleness of eye to God’s glory!

(J. C. Philpot)

Oh, how many ministers do I see led by . . .



self-interest, or


How few have singleness of eye to God’s glory!


Clay Curtis

1 Corinthians 1: 19: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20: Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

From the Jewish scribe to the Grecian sophist to every self-made religionist and philosopher in the world God has made foolish the wisdom of the world. But apply this to you and I called by God’s grace. Among Christ’s true people where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer in Christ’s church? Christ’s true people do not boast of knowing Christ by self-wisdom. God is our Teacher. Christ is our Prophet (Jn 6: 45) Therefore, true believers do not boast that we taught ourselves his word! Nor are Christ’s people debaters and disputers. We have experienced Christ’s Power and Wisdom in our hearts through the preaching of the gospel so that we now know that Christ will reveal himself when it pleases him in whom it pleases him through the simple declaration of the truth of the gospel. We are not talking about all who call themselves by Christ’s name. But in the heart of Christ’s true people, God makes foolish the wisdom of this world each time he regenerates one of his elect to eternal life.

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