Bulletin Edition April 2022

Walk in Love

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour  (Ephesians 5:2).

Here is the key to all that is commanded, expected, and needed for godliness and sanctification.

1.) Walk in love to God our Father, who has given us all things in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

2.) Walk in love to Christ for the love He has for us, the relationship we have with Him, and the things He has done for us (1 John 4:19-21).

3.) Walk in love one to another (Eph. 4:32).

Our example of love is Christ our Lord, who loved us and gave Himself for us. If Christ so loved us, we ought also to love one another. This principle of love is the gift of God and is sufficient motivation for mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and all godliness.  

Henry T. Mahan (1926-2019)

Christ Crucified Is The Whole Counsel of God. 

Doctrine divorced from Christ is deadly philosophy. 

Duty divorced from Christ is self-righteous legalism. 

Devotion divorced from Christ is mere ritualism. 

Christ is the Subject of all biblical truth, the Fulfilment of all biblical prophecy, the End of all biblical law, the Motive of all biblical precepts, the Example of all biblical standards, the Basis of all biblical hope, and the Reward of all biblical faith. 

Don Fortner

Theological controversies and disputes

(Letters of John Newton)

Beware of engaging in theological disputes, without evident necessity, and some probable hope of usefulness. They tend to eat out the life and savour of religion, and to make the soul lean and dry.

I am not to expect others to see with my eyes! I am deeply convinced of the truth of John the Baptist’s aphorism in John 3:27, “A man can receive nothing—except it be given him from Heaven.” I well know, that the little measure of knowledge I have obtained in the things of God—has not been owing to my own wisdom and teachableness, but to God’s goodness. Nor did I learn everything all at once—God has been pleased to exercise much patience towards me, for the past twenty-seven years—since He first gave me a desire of learning from Himself. He has graciously accommodated Himself to my weakness, borne with my mistakes, and helped me through innumerable prejudices, which, but for His mercy, would have been insuperable hindrances! I have therefore no right to be angry, impatient, or censorious to others, especially as I have still much to learn, and am so poorly influenced by what I seem to know!

I am weary of theological controversies and disputes, and desire to choose for myself, and to point out to others, Mary’s part—to sit at Jesus’ feet, and to hear His words. I cannot, I must not, I dare not—be contentious! Only, as a witness for God, I am ready to bear my simple testimony to what I have known of His truth, whenever I am properly called to it.

The longer I live, the more I see of the vanity and the sinfulness of our unchristian disputes! They eat up the very vitals of religion! I allow that every branch of Gospel truth is precious, that errors are abounding, and that it is our duty to bear an honest testimony to what the Lord has enabled us to find comfort in, and to instruct with meekness such as are willing to be instructed. But I cannot see that it is my duty; nay, I believe it would be my sin—to attempt to beat my notions into other people’s heads!

Wrought with divine power!

(J.C. Philpot, “The Veil Taken Away” 1844)

“Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also . . .

  in power and,

  in the Holy Ghost and

  in much assurance.”

1 Thessalonians 1:5

Most men’s religion is nothing else but ‘a round of forms’ . . .

  some have their ‘doings’,

  some have their ‘doctrines’,

  and others have their ‘duties’.

And when the one has performed his doings, the other learned his doctrines, and the third discharged his duties—why, he is as good a Christian, he thinks, as anybody. While all the time, the poor deceived creature is thoroughly ignorant of the kingdom of God, which stands not in simply in word, but in power.

But as the veil of ignorance is taken off the heart, we begin to see and feel that there is a power in vital godliness, a reality in the teachings of the Spirit—that religion is not to be put on and put off as a man puts on and off his Sunday clothes.

Where vital godliness is wrought with divine power in a man’s heart, and preached by the Holy Spirit into his conscience it . . .

  mingles, daily and often hourly with his thoughts;

  entwines itself with his feelings; and

  becomes the very food and drink of his soul.

Now when a man comes to this spot: to see and feel what a reality there is in the things of God made manifest in the conscience by the power of the Holy Spirit—it effectually takes him out of dead churches, cuts him off from false ministers, winnows the chaff from the wheat, and brings him into close communion with the broken-hearted family of God.

“Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and, in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance.”

1 Thessalonians 1:5

A peculiar, indescribable, invincible power

(J.C. Philpot, “The Word of Men and the Word of God”)

“Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also . . .

  with power,

  with the Holy Spirit and

  with deep conviction.”

1 Thessalonians 1:5

The gospel comes to some in word only. They hear the word of the gospel, the sound of truth; but it reaches the outward ear only—or if it touches the inward feelings, it is merely as the word of men.

But where the Holy Spirit begins and carries on His divine and saving work, He attends the word with a peculiar, an indescribable, and yet an invincible power.

It falls as from God upon the heart. He is heard to speak in it—and in it His glorious Majesty appears to . . .

  open the eyes,

  unstop the ears, and

  convey a message from His own mouth to the soul.

Some hear the gospel as the mere word of men, perhaps for years before God speaks in it with a divine power to their conscience. They thought they understood the gospel; they thought they felt it; they thought they loved it. But all this time they did not see any vital distinction between receiving it as the mere word of men, and as the word of God.

The levity, the superficiality, the emptiness stamped upon all who merely receive the gospel as the word of men—is sufficient evidence that it never sank deep into the heart, and never took any powerful grasp upon their soul.

It therefore . . .

 never brought with it any real separation from the world;

 never gave strength to mortify the least sin;

 never communicated power to escape the least snare of Satan;

 was never attended with a spirit of grace and prayer;

 never brought honesty, sincerity, and uprightness into the heart before God;

 never bestowed any spirituality of mind, or any loving affection toward the Lord of life and glory.

It was merely the reception of truth in the same way as we receive scientific principles, or learn a language, a business, or a trade. It was all . . .





But in some unexpected moment, when little looking for it, the word of God was brought into their conscience with a power never experienced before. A light shone in and through it which they never saw before . . .

  a majesty,

  a glory,

  an authority,

  an evidence

accompanied it which they never knew before. And under this light, life, and power—they fell down with the word of God sent home to their heart!

When then Christ speaks the gospel to the heart;

when He reveals Himself to the soul;

when His word, dropping as the rain and distilling as the dew, is received in faith and love

He is embraced as the chief among ten thousand and the altogether lovely one, He takes His seat upon the affections and becomes enthroned in the heart as its Lord and God.

Is there life in your bosom?

Has God’s power attended the work?

Is the grace of God really in your heart?

Has God spoken to your soul?

Have you heard His voice, felt its power, and fallen under its influence?

“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

God saves sinners apart from the preaching of the gospel? No

(Don Fortner)

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17

No one is saved apart from the hearing of the gospel.

Let no one deceive you in this matter. The issue is not whether or not God can save His people without the use of means. The issue is whether or not He will. We know that He will not, because He has revealed it plainly in His Word. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” It pleased God to save His elect by the foolishness of gospel preaching. All who are begotten of God, are begotten of Him by the gospel. All who are born again, are born again by the incorruptible seed of God’s Word, which is preached to them in the gospel.

These things are so plainly revealed in holy Scripture that there is no excuse for error regarding them (1 Corinthians 1:21; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25). Those who teach that God saves sinners apart from the preaching of the gospel, fly in the face of holy Scripture. It is therefore no surprise to see them favor emotionalism, experiences, dreams, custom, and religious tradition above the Word of God.

The preaching of the gospel is God’s chosen, ordained means of grace, by which He calls chosen, redeemed sinners to salvation in Christ by the irresistible power and grace of His Holy Spirit. The New Testament universally declares that the preaching of the gospel is vital to the salvation of God’s elect.

Our message is always the same.

We do not have one message for children, and another for adults.

We do not have one message for one group, and another for another group.

The preaching of the gospel is a proclamation . . .

  of the unsearchable riches of Christ,

  of salvation by His grace,

  of peace with God,

  of pardon of sin,

  of righteousness, and life and salvation by Him.

The Scriptures plainly declare that no one will ever be saved who does not . . .

  hear the gospel (Romans 10:17),

  believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16),

  acknowledge and confess his sin (1 John 1:9),

  repent of his sins (Luke 13:5), and

  persevere in the faith (Matthew 10:22).

Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

“When the Comforter is come . . . He shall testify of Me.” John 15:26

He shall testify to My person as self-existent Jehovah.

He shall bear witness to My work as the perfect sin-atoner.

He shall testify of My grace, how free it is, how full it is.

He shall enable the sinner, any poor wretch, however vile in his own eyes—to trust his soul into the hands of Jesus. And having enabled the sinner to do this, then He will testify of Jesus, that He has received him, that he is safe in the arms and may be happy in the enjoyment of Jesus’ love.

Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus! There will appear such consummate beauty, such infinite loveliness in His precious person, as will eclipse the glory of all other lovers. There will appear such true happiness in fellowship with Him, as will quite dethrone all former idols.

And when the foolish heart would depart, the Comforter will not let it. Then will He testify of Jesus, “To whom would you go? Who has eternal life to give, but Him? Turn, turn again to your rest, oh my soul.”

If the soul is mourning; He will testify of the joy that is in Jesus.

If the soul is burdened; “Cast the burden,” He says, “on your Lord Jesus.”

If the soul has lost any creature comfort; “Let it go,” He says, “Jesus is still your salvation and your great reward.”

If the soul is grieved with indwelling sin; “It is pardoned,” He says, “you are free from the curse of sin.”

Whatever the needs of the believer are, the Spirit’s office is to testify of Jesus: “Jesus is what you need—and you have Him freely.”

The Comforter will keep you by His almighty power, until He brings you to the Heaven of heavens—the sight and enjoyment of dear Jesus, eternally dear and lovely Jesus!

Toys and playthings of the religious babyhouse!

(J.C. Philpot, “The Good Shepherd and His Work”)

“I will feed My flock.” Ezekiel 34:15

The only real food of the soul—must be of God’s own appointing, preparing and communicating.

You can never deceive a hungry child. You may give it a plaything to still its cries. It may serve for a few minutes; but the pains of hunger are not to be removed by a doll. A toy horse will not allay the cravings after the mother’s milk.

So it is with babes in grace—a hungry soul cannot feed upon playthings.







painted windows,

intoning priests, and

singing men and women—

these dolls and wooden horses—these toys and playthings of the religious babyhouse, cannot feed the soul that, like David, cries out after the living God. (Psalm 42:2)

Christ, the bread of life, the manna that came down from Heaven—is the only food of the believing soul!

“I am the living bread that came down from Heaven.

 If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” John 6:51

“Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” Jeremiah 15:16

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word—that you may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:2

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