Bulletin Edition January 2021

“Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee.” – Jeremiah 1:5

Todd Nibert

If God knew us before our conception, that means He knows us eternally. I do not understand that but I believe it. While He knows His elect eternally, there was One He knew before them… the Lamb having been slain before the foundation of the world. Before there was a sinner, there was a Savior, and before the actual commission of sin, the payment for sin had already been made. Hence, the eternal security of the believer. A salvation accomplished in eternity is eternally secure! 

Free grace! Unmerited mercy! Sovereign love!

(Octavius Winslow, “The Soul After Conversion”)

No truth shines with clearer luster in the Bible

than that salvation, from first to last, is of God.

God is sovereign in salvation!

He often selects . . .

  the poorest,

  the vilest,

  the most depraved,

  the most fallen,

as if utterly to explode all idea of human

merit, and to reflect the free grace of His

heart in its richest luster.

O precious truth!

It stains the pride of human merit!

It lays the axe at the root of self!

It humbles and abases!

It empties and lays low!

It ascribes all the praise, honor and glory,

might, majesty and dominion, of the new

creation in the soul, to the Triune God!

No worthiness of the creature allures Him to the

sinner’s heart! What worthiness can be supposed

to exist–what merit can there be in . . .

  a guilty criminal,

  an outlawed rebel,

  a poor insolvent,

  one whose mind is enmity,

  one whose heart is swelling with treason against

God, His government, and His Son? One who owes

millions, but has ‘nothing to pay’? None whatever!

And that the eternal Spirit should enter

the heart of such a one . . .

  convincing of sin;

  subduing the hatred;

  breaking down the rebellion;

  leading to Jesus, and

  sealing pardon and peace upon the conscience;

oh! what but free grace, unmerited mercy, and

sovereign love could thus have constrained Him?

“Lord, what did You see in me,” exclaims the

converted soul, “that moved You with compassion,

that drew You to my heart, and that constrained

Seven Sacred Cows

Greg Elmquist

What do we believe about the presuppositions of manmade religion? What are the sacred cows of paganism that need to be put to death in order to hear the truth? To answer this question properly, much needs to be said by way of introduction. However, for the sake of time, allow us to outline the difference as simply as we can. We will only make three brief introductory points. First, what we believe is rooted in WHO we believe. This is not an intellectual or academic exercise. It is a living relationship with Jesus, THE Christ, the Lord of glory, our Savior. That is the reason we refuse to allow our desire to be a witness for Him to be reduced to a debate. Second, the differences in what we believe are not a matter of theological emphases. Denominations have been created over one doctrine or tradition being emphasized over another. The difference in what we believe and what most believe is the difference in eternal life and eternal death. Third, we understand from scripture and from personal experience, that the only way to savingly see the difference between the truth and a lie is by the free and sovereign grace of God. He is the only one that can make us to differ from another. So, what are the differences? Don’t sacrifice the truth to protect your sacred cows.

1. We do not believe God loves everybody. We believe the love of God is only to be found in Christ, and that was determined by God before the world began. Eph.1:4

2. We do not believe Christ died for everybody. He laid down His life for the sheep not the goats. It is not for us to try to figure out which one men are. His sheep will hear His voice and they will follow Him. Christ purposed to save His elect, and He fulfilled all He came to do. Jn.10:26-27; Is.42:1-4

3. We do not believe God, in any way, wills all men to be saved. God is God. His will is always accomplished. If He willed all men to be saved then all men would be saved. The purpose of God according to election will stand Rom.9:11, 8:28 

4. We do not believe man has a “free will”. Man’s will is in bondage to his sinful nature. It is not free to choose Christ. Man left to himself is unable to believe. God must make him willing through the miracle of the new birth. Jn.3:3

5. We do not believe the gospel is an “offer” of salvation to be accepted by man. The gospel is the declaration of the “good news” that Christ has DONE everything necessary to secure the salvation of His people. God is not waiting for us to DO something to make what Christ did work for us. 2Tim.1:9 “It is finished!” Jn.19:30 This message of grace is irresistible to the elect.

6. We do not believe our faith is the effectual cause of our salvation. The Faith OF Christ is the only faith that makes us accepted before a holy God.Gal.2:16 

Our faith is a gift of God given IN, not FOR salvation. Eph.2:8-9

7. We do not believe the Bible is a rule book for Christian living. We believe it is in its entirety a revelation of the glorious person and accomplished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He Himself is our rule of life. Lk.24:44-45

In short, we believe that “salvation is of the Lord”. He gets all the glory for saving a dead dog sinner such as I. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. God, our Heavenly Father, purposed the salvation of His chosen people in the covenant of grace before the world began. Christ, the Son of God, accomplished everything necessary for Righteousness and Justice on behalf of those chosen. The Holy Spirit, at the appointed time, gives the elect ears to hear and hearts to believe. He then keeps them in Christ until their sojourn in this world is over. At that time, they will see Christ in all His glory and be made like Him.

We know there are some who will want to argue these points with verses of Scripture they think refute what we believe. Remember the first point in the introduction. We will not shame Christ by making Him the subject of a debate. “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” If you have an interest in this gospel we would encourage you to listen to the gospel preached by a faithful gospel preacher. The Lord uses the preaching of Christ crucified to save them which believe. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Written in 2011 


Pride is such a groundless thing. We have reasons for almost everything, but we have no reason to be proud. Pride should be unnatural to us, for we have nothing to be proud of. 

Our CREATION ought to humble us, for we are frail creatures who are here today and gone tomorrow. 

Our IGNORANCE should be sufficient to lay us low. We spend a lifetime trying to learn a few things in part; then, in old age, we can’t remember where we left our glasses. 

Our SINS should lay us in the dust, for it would be embarrassing for the most trusted friend to view our hearts. 

Our BLESSINGS ought to humble us; for the more we have, the more we are in debt to God who makes us to differ. A great debtor has no cause for pride. Certainly a believer has no cause for pride, for our SALVATION is all by grace! Mephibosheth accurately summed up our confession, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” Let us pray to be delivered from pride, for it is such a subtle enemy that only the Lord can deliver us; but we MUST be delivered, for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. 

Henry Mahan

If salvation is in any measure to any degree dependent upon me, I would have no hope! But since it really is not dependent in any measure to any degree upon me, but predicated wholly on Christ doing everything…I have a good hope! It is what Paul called, “A good hope through grace” (II Thess. 2:16).

Todd Nibert 

~Henry Mahan (1926-2019)

The miserable dregs of self

(J. C. Philpot, “Meditations on Matters

 of Christian Faith & Experience”)

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He

 hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephes. 1:6

We are ever looking for something in self to make

ourselves acceptable to God, and are often sadly

cast down and discouraged when we cannot find . . .

  that holiness,

  that obedience,

  that calm submission to the will of God,

  that serenity of soul,

  that spirituality and heavenly-mindedness

which we believe to be acceptable in His sight. Our . . .

  crooked tempers,

  fretful, peevish minds,

  rebellious thoughts,



  alienation from good,

  headlong proneness to ill,

with the daily feeling that we get no better but rather

worse, make us think that God views us just as we view

ourselves. And this brings on great darkness of mind

and bondage of spirit, and we seem to lose sight of

our acceptance in Christ, and get into the miserable

dregs of self, almost ready to quarrel with God because

we are so vile, and only get worse as we get older.

Now the more we get into these dregs of self, and

the more we keep looking at the dreadful scenes of

wreck and ruin which our heart presents to daily view,

the farther do we get from the grace of the gospel,

and the more do we lose sight of the only ground of

our acceptance with God. It is “in the Beloved” that

we are accepted, and not for any . . .

  good words,

  good works,

  good thoughts,

  good hearts, or

  good intentions of our own.

If our acceptance with God depended on anything in

ourselves, we would have to adopt the Wesleyan creed,

and believe we might be children of God today and

children of the devil tomorrow.

What, then, is to keep us from sinking altogether

into despair, without hope or help? Why, a knowledge

of our acceptance “in the Beloved,” independent of

everything in us, good or bad.

“Their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord.”

“Ye are complete in Him.”

What a universal chorus of harmonious voices do

we hear all sounding forth the same melodious

strain–that we are accepted in the Beloved.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Titus 3:5

We need grace, free grace

(Philpot, “Precious Faith, with its Benefits and Blessings”)

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.”

     2 Peter 1:2

When we see and feel how we need grace every

moment in our lives, we at once perceive the beauty in

asking for an abundant, overflowing measure of grace.

We cannot walk the length of the street without sin.

Our carnal minds, our vain imaginations, are all on the

lookout for evil. Sin presents itself at every avenue, and

lurks like the prowling night-thief for every opportunity

of secret plunder. In fact, in ourselves, in our fallen nature,

except as restrained and influenced by grace, we sin with

well near every breath that we draw. We need, therefore,

grace upon grace, or, in the words of the text, grace to be

“multiplied” in proportion to our sins. Shall I say in

proportion? No! If sin abounds, as to our shame and sorrow

we know it does, we need grace to much more abound!

When the ‘tide of sin’ flows in with its muck and mire,

we need the ‘tide of grace’ to flow higher still, to carry

out the slime and filth into the depths of the ocean,

so that when sought for, they may be found no more.

We need grace, free grace . . .

  grace today,

  grace tomorrow,

  grace this moment,

  grace the next,

  grace all the day long.

We need grace, free grace . . .

  healing grace,

  reviving grace,

  restoring grace,

  saving grace,

  sanctifying grace.

And all this multiplied by all our . . .

  wants and woes,



  falls, and

  unceasing and aggravated backslidings.

We need grace, free grace . . .

  grace to believe,

  grace to hope,

  grace to love,

  grace to fight,

  grace to conquer,

  grace to stand,

  grace to live,

  grace to die.

Every moment of our lives we need . . .

  keeping grace,

  supporting grace,

  upholding grace,

  withholding grace.

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.”

     2 Peter 1:2

The only thing that makes you differ

(Octavius Winslow, “Jesus, Full of Grace”)

“But by the grace of God I am what I am.”

     1 Cor. 15:10

Christian! the only thing that makes you differ

from the vilest being that pollutes the earth, or

from the darkest fiend that gnaws his chains in

hell, is the free grace of God!

The free grace of God!

(Letters of John Newton)

“By the grace of God I am what I am!”

 1 Corinthians 15:10

The true Christian is sensible and mindful of

indwelling sin. He confesses that in everything

he comes exceedingly short, and that his best

services are not only defective—but defiled. He

accounts himself as an unprofitable servant—and

is abased in his own eyes. He knows that all that

distinguishes him from the vilest of men—is the

free grace of God!

He derives all his hope and comfort, as well as his

strength—from Jesus, whom he has known, received

and loved, and to whom he has committed his soul.

He renounces all confidence in the flesh, and esteems

all things as loss—compared to the surpassing greatness

of knowing Jesus Christ his Lord, for whose sake he has

lost all things—considering them rubbish, that he may

gain Christ!

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