Bulletin Edition March 2020

Law manifests what is in men–sin!
Grace manifests what is in God–love!
Law demands righteousness from men!
Grace brings righteousness to men!
Law sentences men to death!
Grace brings dead men to life!
Law speaks of what I must do!
Grace tells what Christ has done!
Law gives a knowledge of sin!
Grace puts away sin!

“Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be.”

Henry Mahan, Pastor

All of Grace

by Don Fortner

The glory, bliss, and perfection of heaven, whatever

it is and all that it includes, is but the consummation

of salvation; and it is, in its totality, the gift and work

of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ.

In heaven’s glory we shall forever adore and praise

our great God for the wondrous mystery of his grace,

by which we are saved.

Everything in the great work of salvation sets forth

the splendour of the grace of the Most High God.

What do we see in election, predestination, redemption,

regeneration, and preservation, but his grace?

The whole work of salvation displays God’s rich, free,

almighty, irresistible, sovereign, saving grace in Christ!

In, salvation as well as in creation, all things are of

God, all things are by God, and all things are for God.

Unto him alone all praise must be forever!

Idling life away like an idiot or a madman

(Joseph Philpot, “The Soul’s Growth in Grace” 1837)

When one is spiritually reborn, he sees

at one and the same moment . . .

God and self,

justice and guilt,

power and helplessness,

a holy law and a broken commandment,

eternity and time,

the purity of the Creator, and

the filthiness of the creature.

And these things he sees, not merely as

declared in the Bible, but as revealed in

himself as personal realities, involving all

his happiness or all his misery in time and

in eternity. Thus it is with him as though

a new existence had been communicated,

and as if for the first time he had found

there was a God!

It is as though all his days he had been asleep,

and were now awakened; asleep upon the top of

a mast, with the raging waves beneath; as if all

his past life were a dream, and the dream were

now at an end. He has been . . .

hunting butterflies,

blowing soap bubbles,

angling for minnows,

picking daisies,

building houses of cards, and

idling life away like an idiot or a madman.

He had been perhaps wrapped up in a religious

profession, advanced even to the office of a deacon,

or mounted in a pulpit. He had learned to talk about

Christ, and election, and grace, and fill his mouth

with the language of Zion.

But what did he experimentally know of these

things? Nothing, absolutely nothing!

Ignorant of his own ignorance (of all kinds of

ignorance the worst), he thought himself rich,

and increased with goods, and to have need of

nothing; and knew not that he was wretched,

and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Romans 7:13

Octavius Winslow

NO child of God, if he is advancing in the divine life, but must mourn over his defective views of sin. The holier he grows, the more sensible he is of this: yes, may we not add, the deeper the view of his own vileness, the stronger the evidence of his growth in sanctification. A growing hatred of sin, of little sins, of great sins, of all sin—sin detected in the indwelling principle, as well as sin observable in the outward practice—oh, it is one of the surest symptoms of the onward progress of the soul in its spiritual course. The believer himself may not be sensible of it, but others see it; to him it may be like a retrograde, to an observer it is an evidence of advance. The child of God is not the best judge of his own spiritual growth. He may be rapidly advancing when not sensible of it; the tree may be growing downwards, it roots may be expanding and grasping more firmly the soil in which they are concealed, and yet the appearance of growth do not be very apparent. There is an inward, concealed, yet effectual growth of grace in the soul; the believer may not be sensible of it, and even others may overlook it, but God sees it: it is His own work, and He does not think meanly of it. God, in His gracious dealings with the believer, often works by contraries. He opens the eye of His child to the deep depravity of the heart, discloses to him the chamber of imagery, reveals to him the sin unthought of, unsuspected, unrepented, unconfessed, that lies deeply embedded there—and why? only to make His child more holy; to compel him to repair to the mercy-seat, there to cry, there to plead, there to wrestle for its subjection, its mortification, it crucifixion. And through this, as it were, circuitous process, the believer presses on to high and higher degrees of holiness. In this way, too, the believer earnestly seeks for humility, by a deep discovery which the Lord gives him of the pride of his heart—for meekness, by a discovery of petulance, for resignation to God’s will, by a sense of restlessness and impatience—and so on, through all the graces of the blessed Spirit. Thus there is a great growth in grace, when a believer’s views of sin’s exceeding sinfulness and the inward plague are deepening.

But how are these views of sin to be deepened? By constant, close views of the blood of Christ—realizing apprehensions of the atonement. This is the only glass through which sin is seen in its greater magnitude. Let the Christian reader, then, deal much and often with the blood of Christ. Oh! that we should need to be urged to this!—that once having bathed in the “fountain opened,” we should ever look to any other mode of healing, and of sanctification! For let it never be forgotten, that a child of God is as much called to live on Christ for sanctification as for pardon. “Sanctify them through your truth.” And who is the truth? Jesus Himself answers, “I am the truth.” Then we are to live on Jesus for sanctification: and happy and holy is he who thus lives on Jesus. The fullness of grace that is treasured up in Christ, why is it there? for the sanctification of His people—for the subduing of all their sins. Oh, do not forget, then, that He is the Refiner as well as the Savior—the Sanctifier as well as the Redeemer. Take your indwelling corruptions to Him; take the easy besetting sin, the weakness, the infirmity, of whatever nature it is, at once to Jesus: His grace can make you all that He would have you to be. Remember, too, that this is one of the great privileges of the life of faith; living on Christ for the daily subduing of all sin. This is the faith that purifies the heart, and it purifies by leading the believer to live out of himself upon Christ. To this blessed and holy life our Lord Jesus referred, when speaking of its necessity in order to the spiritual fruitfulness of the believer: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: he that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.”

This wily devil!

(Joseph Philpot, “Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers”)

What a foe to one’s peace is one’s own spirit!

What shall I call it? It is often an infernal spirit.

Why? Because it bears the mark of Satan upon it.

The pride of our spirit,

the presumption of our spirit,

the hypocrisy of our spirit,

the intense selfishness of our spirit,

are often hidden from us.

This wily devil, SELF, can wear such

masks and assume such forms!

This serpent, SELF, can so creep and crawl,

can so twist and turn, and can disguise itself

under such false appearances, that it is often

hidden from ourselves.

Who is the greatest enemy we have to fear? We all

have our enemies. But who is our greatest enemy?

He whom you carry in your own bosom; your daily,

hourly, and unmovable companion, who entwines

himself in nearly every thought of your heart; who . . .

sometimes puffs up with pride,

sometimes inflames with lust,

sometimes inflates with presumption, and

sometimes works under pretend humility and fleshly holiness.

God is determined to stain the pride of human glory.

He will never let SELF, (which is but another word for

the creature,) wear the crown of victory. It must be

crucified, denied, and mortified.


by Don Fortner–

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I

may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has

given me– the task of testifying to THE GOSPEL OF GOD’S

GRACE.” Acts 20:24

Grace is the solitary source from which the goodwill,

love, and salvation of God flow to his chosen people.

Grace is completely unmerited and unsought.

It is altogether unattracted by us.

Grace cannot be bought, earned, or won by anything in us or done by us.

If it could, it would cease to be grace.

Grace is bestowed upon sinners without attraction,

without condition, without qualification.

When God’s saving grace comes to a sinner, it comes as a

matter of pure charity, unsought, unasked, and undesired.

If you search the Scriptures, you will find that there are five things

which always characterize the grace of God. Whenever men speak contrary

to these five things they deny the grace of God.

1. The grace of God is eternal (Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Tim. 1:9).

2. The grace of God is free (Rom. 3:24).

3. The grace of God is sovereign (Rom. 9:16).

4. The grace of God is distinguishing (1 Cor. 4:7).

5. The grace of God is in Christ, only in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).

Grace is not something God offers to sinners.

Grace is the operation of God in sinners, by which he

effectually saves the objects of his everlasting love.

The gospel of God is the message of grace.

To the self-righteous religionist, it is a stumbling block.

To the learned, philosophical worldling, it is foolishness.


Because there is nothing in the gospel to gratify the pride of man.

The gospel of God declares that man can never be saved,

but by the grace of God. It declares that apart from Christ,

the unspeakable gift of God’s grace, there is no salvation,

and that the state of every human being is desperate, hopeless,

and irretrievable.

The gospel addresses men and women as depraved,

guilty, condemned, perishing sinners.

It puts us all upon one level-

The gospel declares that the purest moralist is in the same

condition as the vilest profligate, that the zealous religionist

is no better than the most profane infidel.

Without Christ, without grace, all are lost!

The gospel addresses every descendant of Adam as a fallen,

polluted, hell-bent, hell-deserving sinner, utterly incapable

of changing his ruined condition.

The grace of God in Christ is our only hope.

All men, by nature, stand before God’s holy law as justly condemned

felons, awaiting the execution of his wrath upon us (John 3:18,36;


Our only hope is grace!

“Grace is a provision for men who are–

so FALLEN that they cannot lift the ax of justice,

so CORRUPT that they cannot change their own nature,

so AVERSE TO GOD that they cannot turn to him,

so BLIND that they cannot see him,

so DEAF that they cannot hear him,

and so DEAD that God must himself open their graves

and lift them into resurrection” (George S. Bishop).

The only hope any sinner has of salvation and eternal

life is the grace of God freely bestowed upon sinners

through Jesus Christ,the sinner’s Substitute.

The only bestower of grace is God the Holy Spirit,

who is called “the Spirit of grace” (Zech. 12:10).

He is the One who applies the gospel to the hearts

of chosen, redeemed sinners by his effectual, saving power.

He QUICKENS God’s elect while they are yet spiritually dead.

He CONQUERS the rebel’s will, MELTS the hard heart,

OPENS the blind eye, and CLEANSES the soul.

He gives ears to hear, eyes to see, and

a heart to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Where shall we hide our blushing face?

(Octavius Winslow)

There is much indeed in ourselves of which we

have reason truly to be ashamed, and to be filled

with profound self abhorrence. We have need to

be ashamed . . .

of our unbelief;

of our low thoughts of the Savior;

of our little love to God;

of our slow advance in the divine life;

of our imperfect conformity to Christ;

of the power of indwelling sin;

of our slender spiritual attainments in . . .


personal holiness, and

heavenly meekness.

What shamefacedness should cover us,

that we are so ready . . .

to compromise,

to falter, and

to halt.

How deeply humbled should we be that there

still exists in us so much carnality, love of the

world, and conformity to the world; so little of

the crucified spirit of a cross bearing Savior!

What cause of shame that, with all our profession,

the pulse of spiritual life beats in our souls so faintly,

the spirit of prayer breathes in us so feebly, that we

possess so little real, vital religion, and follow Christ

at so great a distance.

Filled with self abasement should we be, that the

fruits and graces of the Spirit are in us so sickly,

drooping, and dwarfed; that we have so limited

a measure of faith, love, and humility; are so

defective in our patience and meekness, wisdom,

and gentleness; that, with all our blossom and

foliage, there is so little real fruit to the glory

of our Father.

May we not, in view of all this, exclaim with Ezra,

in his deep grief and humiliation for the sins of the

people, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush

to lift up my face to You. For our sins are piled

higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached

to the heavens.” Ezra 9:6.

Oh, where shall we fly; where shall we hide

our blushing face but in the blood of atonement!

sprinkled afresh with which, we may lift up our

heads and not be ashamed.

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