Bulletin Edition May 2020

“They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them.” –Jeremiah 31:9

J.C. Philpot

Until God is pleased to pour out upon us the spirit of grace and of supplications, we cannot worship him aright; for God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth; nor can we without this spirit offer up that spiritual sacrifice which is acceptable to him through Jesus Christ. When this spirit has been once given and kindled in a believer’s breast, it never dies out. It is like the fire upon the bronze altar, which was first given by the Lord himself from heaven, and concerning which God gave this command—”The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” (Lev. 6:13). This fire might sink low; it might be covered with the ashes of sacrifice, but it never was allowed to go out for lack of supply of fuel.

So at times it may seem to you as if there were scarcely any spirit of prayer alive in your bosom; and you may feel as destitute of a spirit of grace and of supplications as if you had never known its lively movements and actings. But you will find it drawn out from time to time by circumstances. You will be placed under peculiar trials, under which you will find no relief but at a throne of grace; or God will in tender mercy breathe again upon your soul with his own gracious Spirit, and by his quickening breath will revive, I will not say kindle, for it is not gone out, that holy fire which seemed to be buried under the ashes of corruption, that inward spirit of prayer which he gave you at regeneration, and which will never cease until it issue in everlasting praise.

The best and the only sufficient expositors of Scripture!

(Letters of John Newton)

“When the Spirit of truth comes — He will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13

Psalm 25:14, “The secret counsel of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His covenant to them” — not notionally, but experimentally.

A few minutes of the Spirit’s teaching will furnish us with more real, useful and experimental knowledge — than toiling through whole folios of commentators! It will be our wisdom to deal less with the streams — and be more close in applying to the fountain-head. The Scripture itself, and the Spirit of God — are the best and the only sufficient expositors of Scripture. Whatever men have valuable in their writings — they got it from Scripture; and the Scripture is as open to us — as to any of them. There is nothing required but a teachable, humble spirit; and academic learning, as it is commonly called, is not necessary in order for this.

We learn more, and more effectually, by one minute’s communication with God through the medium of His written Word, than we could from an assembly of theologians, or a library of books!

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law!” Psalm 119:18

“Teach me Your statutes!” Psalm 119:12

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him—for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.” –Revelation 19:7


We need two things to take us to heaven; a title to it, and a fitness for it. Our only title to heaven is the blood and righteousness of the Son of God—that blood which “cleanses from all sin,” and that righteousness which “justifies us from all things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Nothing unclean or defiled can enter heaven. This is God’s own testimony—”Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:27).

But besides the title, there must be also a fitness for this heavenly city, according to the words of the apostle—”Giving thanks unto the Father, who has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). While here below, then, we must learn to sing some notes of that joyous anthem which will issue in full, uninterrupted harmony from the hearts and lips of the redeemed in the realms above, when that glorious company will ever cry, “Alleluia! Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God.” If we are to sit down among those blessed ones who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb, not only must we be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints,” but we must have had “the kingdom of God, which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17), set up in our hearts.

The Mysterious Spirit of the Living God


It may be, that during a sermon two men are listening to the same truth; one of them hears as attentively as the other and remembers as much of it; the other is melted to tears or moved with solemn thoughts; but the one though equally attentive, sees nothing in the sermon, except, maybe, certain important truths well set forth; as for the other, his heart is broken within him and his soul is melted. Ask me how is it that the same truth has an effect upon the one, and not upon his fellow—I reply, because the mysterious Spirit of the Living God goes with the truth to one heart and not to the other. The one only feels the force of truth, and that may be strong enough to make him tremble, like Felix; but the other feels the Spirit going with the truth, and that renews the man, regenerates him, and causes him to pass into that condition, that gracious condition which is called the state of salvation. This change takes place instantaneously. It is as miraculous a change as any miracle of which we read in Scripture. It is supremely supernatural. It may be mimicked, but no imitation of it can be true and real. Men may pretend to be regenerated without the Spirit, but regenerated they cannot be. It is change so marvelous that the highest attempts of man can never reach it. We may reason as long as we please, but we cannot reason ourselves into regeneration; we may meditate until our hairs are gray with study; but we cannot meditate ourselves into the new birth. That is worked in us by the sovereign will of God alone.

“I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” –Galatians 1:12


When I speak of a revelation of Christ, I am not contending for anything visionary. Dreams, voices, appearances in the air, sights and sounds, crosses in the sky, and apparitions at the bedside, I must leave to others. I believe that for the most part they are the portion of dreamers and enthusiasts, for we have all these in the visible Church of God, as well as Pharisees and hypocrites, Arminians and Antinomians. I will not indeed deny that the Lord may have wrought by them in some peculiar instances, as in the cases of Augustine and Colonel Gardiner. But taking the generality of God’s people and the ordinary mode of divine operation, the revelation of Christ to the soul is a gracious internal discovery by the power of the Spirit, revealing him to the eyes of faith. Nothing is seen or heard by the bodily senses; and yet his glorious Person is as much seen, and his voice as much heard, as though eye and ear beheld his glory and listened to his words. It is altogether of grace, wholly heavenly and divine, and therefore nature, sense, and reason have no place here. It is a divine bringing into the heart of the power and presence, grace and glory, love and blood of Christ in a way that may be felt but never described. Under these spiritual operations and influences—for it is the Spirit’s work to take of the things of Christ and reveal them to the soul; it is his covenant office to testify of Jesus—under these sacred influences, divine anointings, and gracious operations, Christ is made known unto the heart and looked unto, according to his own word—”Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth.”


by Don Fortner

“For who makes you different from anyone else?

What do you have that you did not receive?

And if you did receive it, why do you boast

as though you did not?” 1 Cor. 4:7

The only difference there is between the believer and the unbeliever,

between the righteous and the wicked, between the seed of Christ

and the seed of the serpent, is the difference which grace has made.

This we must acknowledge- “By the grace of God I am what I am!”

God’s grace is always particular, distinctive, and distinguishing.

Those who are saved by the free grace of God in Christ have been

and forever are distinguished from those who are lost by these

five distinct acts of grace–

The first distinguishing act of God’s grace is his ETERNAL ELECTION.

If you can, with the eye of faith, trace every spiritual blessing that

you now enjoy, and those which you hope to enjoy, back to the place

of their original source, the place of their origin would be spelled

“E L E C T I O N” (Eph. 1:3-4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jer. 1:4; 31:3).

The second act of grace by which God has distinguished his elect

from the rest of mankind is EFFECTUAL REDEMPTION.

By his precious blood, poured out unto death upon the cross, the Lord

Jesus Christ has effectually ransomed and redeemed God’s elect from

the hands of divine justice, by satisfying the claims of justice against us

(Isa. 53:8-11; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12).

The third act of grace by which the Lord has distinguished us from

the rest of the world is his ADORABLE PROVIDENCE.

Our God governs all the affairs of this world. And he has governed

all the affairs and circumstances of our lives to bring us to the place

where we now are, and to eternal glory in Christ and with Christ in

heaven (Matt. 10:29-31; Rom. 8:28).

The fourth act of grace by which we are distinguished from all other


The only thing that makes you different from any other being on this

planet, if you are born again, is the fact that God has saved you.

He gave you life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and

grace of his Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:1-10).

The fifth act of grace by which God distinguishes his elect from

the unbelieving is his MERCIFUL PRESERVATION.

The only thing that keeps us in grace is grace itself. The only thing

that holds us to Christ is Christ himself (Jer. 32:38-40). The Lord

Jesus says, with regard to all his people, “I give unto them eternal life,

and they shall never perish.” The salvation he gives is eternal salvation.

The life he gives is eternal life. That means that all who are saved by

him are saved forever!

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