Bulletin Edition July 2022

Liberty in Christ

The world offers man one of two messages to relieve him of his fear, guilt and shame. The first message says; “it’s not your fault. You are a victim.” This message resonates with the sons of Adam whose father devised this plan from the beginning. Peace, peace, when there is no peace The second message says; “you are to blame, but you can fix it.” This message resonates with the sons of Adam who are always trying to cover their nakedness with the fig leaves they have sewed together. Both of these messages (blame and works) leave men in their sins and separated from God. 

The good news of the gospel of God’s free grace in the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ leaves men without excuse. It places the full responsibility of sin on the sinner.  With no place to go, they flee to their only Hiding Place. By God’s grace they look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ who bore all their guilt and shame on Calvary’s cross. They know, “there is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared.” Ps. 130:4. “What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Rom.8:31,33. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Who walk not after the flesh (blame and works) but after the spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor. 3:17              

Greg Elmquist

Faith is not believing that God will do what I want Him to do, or what I think I need Him to do. Faith is believing that God will do what He said he would do. Faith in Christ is an abandonment of our own thoughts and ways, and a complete, unreserved trusting of Him as our Righteousness, Sin-offering and Sovereign. 

Chris Cunningham

Come and eat!

(Horatius Bonar, “The Bread of Immortality”)

“I am the bread of life.” John 6:48

“I am the living bread.” John 6:51

All food is for the sustaining of life.

Jesus announces Himself as the bread which will sustain
the life of the soul. Not merely some doctrine–but Himself.
He is the bread; not merely bread–but thebread–the one
true bread; without whom the soul cannot grow, nor its life
be sustained. For only by this life-sustaining bread, can
such sickly souls be nourished. As such, Jesus is necessary
to the soul as its food–its bread.

Outside of Him, there is no nourishment, no sustenance.
He feeds–He alone. He feeds us on Himself! All else is
husks, or mere air and vapor. Jesus, in His glorious person,
is our food–the true bread and sustenance of the soul;
the hidden manna.

Jesus applies various names to it:
  “bread from heaven”
  “true bread”
  “the bread of God”
  “bread of life”
  “living bread.”
All these are names indicative of its excellence, its power,
its suitableness. It is the very bread we need; no other
would do. Jesus is the soul’s eternal food. This
storehouse is inexhaustible–and ever accessible!

Come as you are, poor prodigal, starving on husks–come
and eat! 
Eat, O friends!Eat, and live! Eat, and be strong!
Eat, and be in soul health!

Are you hungry?

from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BREAD FOR THE HUNGRY”

We should come to hear the Word, like baby birds in the nest–
when the mother-bird comes with the worm, they are all
stretching their necks to see which one shall get the food,
for they are all hungry and want it.

And so should hearers be ready to get hold of the Word,
not wanting that we should force it down their throats, but
waiting there, opening their mouths wide that they may be filled,
receiving the Word in the love of it, taking in the Word as the
thirsty earth drinks in the rain of heaven.

Hungry souls love the Word.

Perhaps the ‘speaker’ may not always put it as they may like to
hear it, but as long as it is God’s Word, it is enough for them.

They are like people who are sitting at the reading of a will–
the lawyer may have a squeaking voice, perhaps, or he
mispronounces the words, but what does that matter?
They are listening to see what is left to them.

So is it with God’s people. It is not the preacher,
but the ‘preacher’s God’ that these hungry ones look to.

Why, if you were very poor, and some benevolent neighbor
should send you a loaf of bread by a man who had a club foot,
you would not look at the foot, you would look at the bread.

And so is it with the hearers of the Word– they know if they
wait until they get a perfect preacher, they will get no preacher
at all, but they are willing to take the man, imperfections and all,
provided he brings the Master’s bread.

And though he be but a lad, and can bring but a few barley
loaves and fishes, yet since the Master multiplies the provision,
there is enough for all, and they feed to the full.

“Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon—for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” –Song of Solomon 1:7-8


If you say that you want food and rest, to know Christ for yourself and to enjoy his presence and love, the Lord gives you two directions to attain to the enjoyment of these two blessings–

1. to tread in the footsteps of the flock, to walk in the way in which the saints of old have walked, in the path of tribulation and faith;

2. if you are favoured in any way to live within reach of the shepherds’ tents, and have the privilege of hearing the gospel preached in its purity and power, to bring your young goats in your arms beside the tent, and to put them down to feed on the juicy herbage. And be assured that if you come to the shepherds’ tents with a prayerful spirit and a hungry soul, begging of God to open your heart to receive the word with power, and to crown it with his blessing, sooner or later you will find food and rest.

But these things go together. If you want food you will go where it is to be obtained; if you want rest you will go where it is to be obtained. You will get neither in the world. But as you get food and rest beside the shepherds’ tents you will find that it is really and truly Jesus himself who feeds, and Jesus himself who makes you lie down and rest. The shepherds are but servants. Christ is the Bridegroom, and he alone has the Bride. The shepherds’ joy is to bring the sheep to Christ that they may find food and rest in him; and as your heart receives the joyful sound, and you feel the power of God’s truth in your soul, there will be a doing what Christ bids as well as enjoying what Christ reveals.

Toys and playthings of the religious babyhouse

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 breast.

So 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 42:23)

Christ, the bread of life, the manna that
came down from heaven, is the only food
of the believing soul. (John 6:51)

Weaned from feeding on husks and ashes
“I will satisfy her poor with bread.” Psalm 132:15

The Lord has given a special promise to Zion’s
poor—”I will satisfy her poor with bread.”

Nothing else?  Bread?  Is that all?

Yes! That is all God has promised—bread,
the staff of life.

But what does He mean by “bread”?

The Lord Himself explains what bread is. He says,
I am the Bread of life. He who comes to Me will
never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will
never be thirsty. I am the living Bread who came
down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread,
he will live forever.” John 6:35,51

The bread, then, that God gives to Zion’s poor is
His own dear Son—fed upon by living faith, under
the special operations of the Holy Spirit in the heart.

“I will satisfy her poor with bread.” Psalm 132:15

But must not we have an appetite before we can
feed upon bread? The rich man who feasts continually
upon juicy meat and savory sauces, would not live upon
bread. To come down to live on such simple food as bread
—why, one must be really hungry to be satisfied with that.

So it is spiritually. A man fed upon ‘mere notions’ and a
number of ‘speculative doctrines’ cannot descend to the
simplicity of the gospel. To feed upon a crucified Christ,
a bleeding Jesus!
—he is not sufficiently brought down to
the starving point, to relish such spiritual food as this!

Before, then, he can feed upon this Bread of life he must
be made spiritually poor. 
And when he is brought to be
nothing but a mass of wretchedness, filth, guilt, and misery
—when he feels his soul sinking under the wrath of God,
and has scarcely a hope to buoy up his poor tottering heart
—when he finds the world embittered to him, and he has no
one object from which he can reap any abiding consolation
—then the Lord is pleased to open up in his conscience,
and bring the sweet savor of the love of His dear Son
into his heart—and he begins to taste gospel bread.

Being weaned from feeding on husks and ashes, and
sick “of the vines of Sodom and the fields of Gomorrah,”
and being brought to relish simple gospel food, he begins
to taste a sweetness in ‘Christ crucified’ which he never
could know—until he was made experimentally poor.

The Lord has promised to satisfy such.

“I will satisfy her poor with bread.” Psalm 132:15

“Enter Into Rest”          

Hebrews 4:3

     The inspired writer declares that “we which have believed do enter into rest.” Believers enter into a blessed fourfold rest by faith in Christ.

     WE REST OUR SOULS UPON THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST’S BLOOD ATONEMENT (Rom. 8:1, 34; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7). The shed blood of Christ, the sinner’s Substitute,gives us rest from the guilt of sin and the fear of God’s wrath. Nothing can be in two places at one time. If God has laid my sin upon Christ, it can never be laid upon me.Justice will not allow the same crime to be twice punished. If the Lord God punished my sins to the full satisfaction of his justice in Christ, my Substitute, he cannot impute sin to me and punish me for it.

     WE REST ALSO UPON THE INFINITE, UNFAILING SUFFICIENCY OF GOD’S SAVING GRACE (II Cor.12:9; John 10:27-23; Phil. 1:6). The grace of God by which we have been saved is sufficient to overcome our inbred sins and corruptions, sufficient to preserve us in the midst of many and great temptations, sufficient to sustain us in trials, sufficient to restore us though we fall seven times a day, and sufficient to keep us unto the end.

     WE REST OUR LIVES UPON THE GOODNESS OF GOD’S UNIVERSAL PROVIDENCE (Isa. 45:7; Rom. 8:28; II Cor. 5:18). We find rest, not by arranging the affairs of our lives, but by leaving the arrangement of our affairs to our heavenly Father who is too wise to err, too strong to fail, too good to do wrong, and too gracious to hurt his children.

     WE REST UPON THE INFALLIBILITY OF GOD’S WORD AND THE PROMISES OF IT (Isa. 40:8). Because the Bible is the Word of God, it is infallible. Because it is infallible, its promises are all sure. Three things are promised in the Book of God to every believer which give us rest as we apprehend them by faith: (1) The Non-Imputation of Sin (Rom. 4:8), (2) The Resurrection of the Body (I Thess. 4:13-18), and (3) The Glory of Eternal Bliss in Heaven (John 14:1-3).

     THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO MUST ENTER INTO THE REST OF GOD’S EVERLASTING SALVATION IN CHRIST (Heb. 4:6). All who were chosen to it must possess it. All for whom it was purchased must enter into it. All who have been called to it by God must obtain it. That means that all who trust Christ must enter into his rest. You cannot trust him and perish!

Don Fortner

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