Bulletin Edition September 2022

Here we see what is in every human heart by nature!

(Don Fortner)

Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. Matthew 27:22

Oh, what a revelation of man the cross is!
Man hating God, and hating Him most when God displayed His love most fully.
Man acting like the devil, taking Satan’s side against God!

Yes, the cross was a public declaration of man’s hatred for God and His Son.

The cross is proud man spitting in God’s face and saying, “I am holy. I need no Savior. To Hell with God and His Son!”

Our Savior asked, “What do you think you of Christ?”
Man’s answer was, “Crucify Him!”

Man’s heart, his hands, his tongue all combine to scream out hatred for God and His Son.

Calvary’s hill displays man’s utter hatred for God!

How deep, bitter, universal, and vile is the hatred of the human heart for God! Oh, how fallen man hates God!

The arrest, the scourging, the mockery, the spitting, the smiting, the cries, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”, the wagging the heads, the cruel nails, the thieves’ railing–everything was but the outpouring of man’s utter hatred for God.

Here we see what is in every human heart by nature!

Man declared his heart, in the crucifixion of God’s darling Son.

God seems to have said, “Vent the feelings of your heart.” And he did, taking God by the throat, as it were, man snatched the only begotten Son from His Father’s heart and crucified Him with hellish delight.

Reckoning the death of the cross the worst of all deaths, man said, “This is the best way to show my contempt for God. This is exactly what I think of the Son of God!” Thus, the enmity of the natural heart speaks out, and man not only confesses publicly that he is a hater of God, but he takes pains to show the intensity of his hatred.

The cross interprets what is in man’s heart.

The cross rips the mask of pretended religion off of the face of our race.

The cross of Christ exhibits man’s heart as a cesspool overflowing with the malignity of Hell.

This little idol?

Winslow, “The Sympathy of Christ”

To affirm, as the Scriptures of truth positively do,
that mankind is originally and totally depraved, is
but to portray it with every feature of its pristine
nobleness, purity, and excellence utterly spoiled!

Mankind has become the living embodiment,
the acting impersonation, the very incarnation
of fallen SELF love; SELF love in the form of
complete SELFishness.

The original Center of the soul forsaken,
man had become a center to himSELF.

The God He worshiped, was the deification of SELF.

The religion He professed, was the adoration of SELF.

The powers He cultivated were consecrated to SELF.

His whole existence was one act of service and devotion to SELF.

The Divine Center abandoned,
He knew no other god,
acknowledged no other sufficiency,
recognized no other end than himSELF.

Every faculty and thought, every affection and action,
was made to contribute to the cloud of incense which
rose as in one dense column before this little idol, SELF.

SELF the first;
SELF the last;
SELF all in all!

And is it not so now?

SELF, in some shape, is still the Deity of the natural man!

SELFishness is still the universal sin of our nature,
exhibited in one or more of its thousand modifications,
its endless forms.

All are in pursuit either of wealth, or ambition,
or pleasure, or honor, or gratification under the
‘law of SELFishness’.

SELF is the only recognized principle and rule of
action which regulates the conduct of the great
majority of our depraved species.

The indictment is heavy, the picture is dark, the
sin is awful, we admit; but it is borne out by daily
observation and frequent experience, and by the
faithful, unerring Word of God, “All men seek their own.”

What, we ask, is all this….
this SELF exaltism?
this egotism?
this envy and jealousy?
this attempt to supplant others in esteem, influence, and power?
this prodigality and love of worldly show?
this eager chase of wealth?
this covetousness and penuriousness?
this love of ease and sloth?
this niggardly dole of charity?
this cruel, heartless, grinding oppression?
this growing sensuality and crime?

What, we ask, is all this, and a thousand times more,
but the one appalling, cancerous sin of SELFishness
existing in the very heart of depravity, and sending
its fatal poison along all the fibers of human society?

My heart has been continually producing new monsters!

(Letters of John Newton)

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jerimiah 17:9

Alas! the most marvelous proofs of the Lord’s patience and goodness to me are utterly unfit for publication; nay, I could not whisper some things into the ear of a friend.

It has been since my conversion, and not by what happened before it, that I have known the most striking instances of the vileness and depravity of my nature. My heart has been continually producing new monsters! I have good reason to believe, that it is still comparatively an unknown territory to me; and that it contains bottomless mines, depths, and sources of iniquity in it, of which I have hardly a more adequate conception, than I could form of the fishes that are hidden in the sea, by taking a survey of the fish-market at Billingsgate!

But oh! wonderful, transporting thought! He, before whom its most retired recesses lie naked and open, can and does bear with me! How wonderful is it, likewise, that notwithstanding all these floods of abomination, He has been pleased to keep me outwardly, so that I have not been allowed to make any considerable blot in my profession before men, since He was pleased first to number me among His children. But truly I have nothing to boast of. I may well say, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is exceedingly abundant!” 1 Timothy 1:14

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
 That saved a wretch like me!”

The idol we worship!

(Letters of John Newton)

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2

The passions of discontent, pride, and envy–exert
themselves in each of us. We are fallen into a state
of gross idolatry–and SELF is the idol we worship!

The principle of SELF is deep-rooted in every heart,
and is the spring of every action–until grace infuses
a new principle, and SELF, like Dagon, falls before
the Lord Almighty!

Who really knows how bad it is?

(J. C. Philpot, “Getting and Losing” 1846)

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

Without a knowledge of the corruptions
and abounding evils of our deceitful and
desperately wicked heart . . .
  worldly mindedness,
there will be . . .
  no humility,
  no self loathing,
  no dread of falling,
  no desire to be kept,
  no knowledge of the super-aboundings
     of grace, over the aboundings of sin.

The soul’s natural element

(J. C. Philpot, “What Is It That Saves a Soul?“)

Before the soul can know anything about salvation,
it must learn deeply and experimentally the nature
of sin, and of itself, as stained and polluted by sin.

It is proud, and needs to be humbled.

It is careless, and needs to be awakened.

It is alive, and needs to be killed.

It is full, and requires to be emptied.

It is whole, and needs to be wounded.

It is clothed, and requires to be stripped.

The soul is, by nature . . .
  buried deep in worldliness and carnality;
  utterly blind and ignorant;
  filled with . . .
      and enmity;
  hateful to all that is heavenly and spiritual.

Sin, in all its various forms, is
the soul’s natural element.

Some of the features of the unregenerate
nature of man are . . .
  worldly pleasure,
  desire of the praise of men,
  an insatiable thirst after self-advancement,
  a complete abandonment to all that can please
    and gratify every new desire of the heart,
  an utter contempt and abhorrence of everything that
    restrains or defeats its mad pursuit of what it loves.

moral restraints,
or the force of habit,
may restrain the outbreaking of inward corruption,
and dam back the mighty stream of indwelling sin,
so that it shall not burst all its bounds, and desolate
the land. But no moral check can alter human nature.

A chained tiger is a tiger still.

“The Ethiopian cannot change his
 skin, nor the leopard his spots.”

To make man the direct contrary of what
he originally is; to make him . . .
 love God instead of hating Him;
  fear God, instead of mocking Him;
  obey God, instead of rebelling against Him;
to do this mighty work, and to effect this wonderful
change, requires the implantation of a new nature
by the immediate hand of God Himself.

Natural light,
natural love,
natural faith,
natural obedience,
in a word, all natural religion,
is here useless and ineffectual.

Man hates the gospel with all his heart!
Spurgeon, “Fire: the Want of the Times” #854

Brethren, there is nothing in the
gospel, apart from the Spirit of God,
which can save a man, for man
hates the gospel with all his heart!

Though the reasonableness of the gospel
of Jesus ought to make the belief of it
universal, yet its plain dealing with human
sin excites deadly antagonism. Therefore,
the gospel itself would make no progress
were it not for the divine power.

There is an invisible arm which pushes forward
the conquests of the truth. There is a fire unfed
with human fuel, which burns a way for the truth
of Jesus Christ into the hearts of men.

The great law of our degenerated nature.

(John MacDuff, “The Mind of Jesus” 1870)

 For even Christ pleased not himself    Romans 15:3

Too legibly are the characters written on the fallen
heart and a fallen world, “All seek their own!”

Selfishness is the great law of our degenerated nature.

When the love of God was dethroned from the soul,
SELF vaulted into the vacant seat, and there, in
some one of its Proteus shapes, continues to reign.

Jesus stands out for our imitation a grand
solitary exception in the midst of a world of
selfishness. His entire life was one abnegation
; a beautiful living embodiment of that
love which “seeks not her own.”

Reader! Seek to live more constantly and habitually
under the constraining influence of the love of Jesus.

Selfishness withers and dies beneath Calvary!

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