Bulletin Edition November 2022

How often we jeopardise the hope and joy of our salvation, by looking for the work of God done IN us, or BY us, rather than looking to the work of Christ done FOR us.                             

Greg Elmquist


My spiritual life began in looking to Christ only. The way I persevere in the faith is by continuing to look to Christ only. My desire is that the last breath I take here on earth will be looking to Christ only. The employment of eternity, albeit without this sinful nature, will be looking to Christ only! “We shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2), and will still look to Him only.   

Pastor Todd Nibert

When I was young, I was sure of many things. But now that I am old, there are only two things of which I am sure. One is that I am a miserable sinner! Secondly, that Christ is an all-sufficient Savior! He is well taught – who learns these two lessons. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15).

                                                                                         John Newton

“Come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price.” 

Isaiah. 54:1.

Surely, no man can plead poverty as an excuse for not buying, when the things sold are not only without money, but without even the proposals for money; not only without ready money, but without any money. Here is not even a price given. My soul, remember this. The poorer the wretch, the more welcome to this market. But what are the things sold? Both wine and milk. A blessed variety in the gospel feast – wine to cheer, and milk to nourish. Yes, blessed Jesus, thy love is better than wine, and thy salvation more healing than milk. Besides, it comes free, it comes pure, it comes in plenty.                                          ~Robert Hawker

When the dust of division settles, those who are true followers of Christ will be made manifest.  They may waver in the confusion, but God’s saints will not be moved away from the hope of the Gospel.  When the sowers of discord have had their last fling, the cause of Christ will not be hindered, and believers will still cling to Christ with stronger faith than ever before.            Don Fortner

For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Romans 9:15

Octavius Winslow

THERE is a sovereignty in all the works and dealings of God. If it be asked, what God’s own definition of His sovereignty is, we refer the inquirer to His words, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” Here is the Sovereign! How like Himself He speaks! He carries forward His gracious purposes of infinite wisdom and love—chooses or rejects—reveals or withholds, “working all things after the counsel of His own will,” and “giving no account,” either to angels or to men, “of any of His matters.” We will not expand this part of the subject, by citing the numerous examples of this truth which abound in the Scriptures. We would urge the reader to examine the cases of Jacob and Esau—the Publican and Pharisee—Saul of Tarsus and the men who journeyed with him—the two thieves upon the cross—and mark, if the sovereignty of the Divine choice, and the operation of the Eternal Spirit, are not written out in their histories as with a sunbeam.

Is the reader a child of God? Then we will not confine him to the word of Divine truth. We summon him as a witness to the sovereignty of the blessed Spirit’s operation. “You are my witnesses,” says God. Who and what made you to differ? You have been taken out of your family, your kindred, your friends, your companions. From this circle you alone have been selected, called, and made a child of grace, an heir of glory. The others, where are they? Still dead in trespasses and sin. Where are they? Living in the world, and to the world—lovers of pleasure, lovers of self, lovers of sin, hating God, rejecting Christ, and warring against the Spirit speaking to them in the word, through providences, and by the conscience. Where are they? Bursting through every restraint, and bending their footsteps down to the doom of the lost. Where are they? Gone, many of them, into eternity—past the confines of mercy, “in hell lifting up their eyes, being in torments.” And what are you? A sinner saved by grace—a sinner chosen and called, pardoned and justified, washed and clothed, adopted and sanctified—brought to the foot of the cross, constrained to welcome Jesus, to take up His cross, and to follow Him. Oh the electing love of God! Oh the distinguishing grace of Jesus! Oh the sovereign operation of the Eternal Spirit! “Who are you, O man, that replies against God?” Bow down to the sovereignty of His will—silently wonder, and adore Him who says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Has my reader hitherto found this doctrine a “hard saying”? Has he been prone to cavil at it, or passed it by? I would with all meekness and affection urge him seriously, candidly, and prayerfully to examine it by the light of the Divine word—to cavil not at it, lest he be found to “fight against God;”—to pass it not by, lest he “grieve the Spirit,” and rob his own soul of an inestimable blessing. Oh 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 in a low place,” and ascribes all the praise, honour, and glory, might, majesty, and dominion of the new creation in the soul to the Triune God.


-Spurgeon, “The Honored Guest”

You never know how bad man is
till he comes in contact with the Cross.

To despise the grace of Jesus,
to reject the love of God,
to conspire against the Ambassador of peace,
to take the inhuman, devilish counsel–
“This is the heir; let us kill him!”

This is the greatest offence of human nature, when it says,
in effect– “This is the Incarnate God, let us reject him;
this is the Word made flesh, let us traduce him;
this is the Father’s beloved Son–let us betray him!”

Oh! Human Nature, how blind must be your heart, how
seared your conscience, not to see the beauties of Christ!

How base must you be to despise the love
and tenderness of such a Savior!

Ah! brethren, this is a miserable spectacle
It is a dreary sight to see a sinner despising mercy,
a drowning man rejecting the life-belt,
a sick man declining the physician,
a man entering the gates of death refusing life and immortality.

Oh! sin, how you have befooled men!
How you have made them hate themselves,
and act cruelly to their own souls!
What suicides they commit!
What a sacrifice of their noblest nature!
They have destroyed themselves!
They reject him shamefully whom
they should have received joyfully.
They carry out their own will,
and they perish in their wilfulness.

Religion will not hinder rejection of Christ. Christ was crucified by men who had more of what man calls religion than any other on the earth. They prayed, they fasted, they gave alms, they multiplied sacrifices—yet they crucified Christ! It was the Scribes and Pharisees, the religious and respectable men of Israel, who were the foremost in rejecting Messiah. God’s way of dealing with them, as announced by Christ, was so opposed to their ideas of the way in which they ought to be dealt with, that rejection of the claims of Jesus, and hatred of his person, were necessary elements in, or at least indispensable deductions from, their religion. How often among ourselves, does a man’s religion, or religiousness, or ritualism, form the great hindrance to his reception of the gospel! It is not Christ that is his religion; it is his religion that is his Christ! This being the case, Christ cannot be prized, or loved, or trusted in; he can only be rejected, hated, crucified.

This rejection of Christ showed itself in various aspects, in the different character and events described by the evangelists, in this last scene in Jerusalem. In all of them, however, it is unbelief that is showing itself—the same unbelief which still induces opposition to Christ, the same unbelief which keeps an anxious sinner oftentimes so long in darkness and distrust. And, as we judge of the real nature of a thing best, when fully developed and carried out—so we learn the true nature of all unbelief, from the modes in which it expressed itself at this great scene of rejection, enacting at Jerusalem, from the hour that Judas sold his Master, up to the moment when the thief railed on him from the cross.

Horatius Bonar – excerpt from “The cross – Expression of man’s unbelief”


John 7:43

It was true then, and it is true today: the Lord Jesus Christ is the cause of great division among men. (Read Matthew10:34-36 and Luke 12:51-53). Spurgeon said, “Between the poorest saint and the brightest moralist, there is a great gulf. We may not be able to perceive it in the outward character, but there is as deep a gulf as there is between the feeblest form of life and death, – a gulf which only omnipotent grace can cause any man to pass over. “The radical difference between the true believer and the unbeliever lies in their relation to Christ. That is the point of divergence.” It is foolish for us to refuse to recognize this division. The seed of the serpent hates the seed of the woman. The child of bondage and the free born son cannot live together in the same house. There no compatibility between believers and unbelievers.

                To the unbeliever Christ is nothing; but to the believer Christ is everything. The unbeliever trusts himself, his works, his priest, or his church for acceptance before God; but the believer trusts Christ alone for his whole salvation. To the unbeliever Christ is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence; but to the believer Christ is exceedingly precious. The unbeliever is motivated by pride, seeks his own gain, lives by the principle of covetousness, and has his heart attached to this world. But the believer is not the same sort of man. He is motivated by the glory of Christ, seeks the will of Christ, lives in this world by the principles of love and faith, and has his heart fixed upon eternity.

                The point is this – If you trust Christ, love Christ, serve Christ, and seek the glory of Christ, you will be wise not to seek the companionship of men and women who care nothing for Christ. Such companionship can only bring you pain and misery.

Don Fortner

Christ The Stumbling Stone  — 

1 Peter 2:6-8

There are many who do not believe the testimony of Scripture regarding the death of Christ. Rather than believing on the Son of God unto life everlasting, trusting him alone for redemption and righteousness, the vast majority of religious people in this world stumble over the gospel doctrine of limited atonement, effectual, accomplished redemption, and perish in their sins. They willingly trample the precious blood of Christ under their feet and despise the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29; 1 Pet. 2:6-8).

As he is revealed in Holy Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ is to reprobate, unbelieving, self-righteous men a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence; and this is by divine arrangement. God has so written his Word that reprobate men will get tripped up by it and stumble over the Scriptures as stumbling stones to hell.

God has fixed it, so that those who are determined to cling to their own righteousness, who are determined not to submit themselves to the righteousness of God established by, revealed in, and found in Christ alone, will stumble over him and fall into hell. This is exactly what happened to those Jews described in Romans 9:31-33. Those very same Scriptures which, by the blessing of God the Holy Spirit, are as stair steps to God’s elect, are stumbling stones to the reprobate and unbelieving.

There are numerous texts of Scripture which are often pointed to, quoted, twisted, and perverted by dishonest blasphemers, and by those who are confused by their teachings to refute the blessed gospel doctrine of Limited Atonement.

            Sometimes, when we try to teach people the gospel, explaining passages like John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2, they respond by saying, “‘All’ means all, ‘world’ means world, and ‘every’ means every. When the Bible uses the words ‘all’ and ‘every,’ it mean everyone, every human being, without exception. When the Bible uses the word ‘world’ it means everyone, every human being without exception.” But that simply is not the case. And the fact that that is not the case is obvious to any one who cares to look. Let me give you one example.

Luke 2:1-3  “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”

Obviously, the words “all,” “world,” and “every,” as they are used in this text refer to all within a specific, limited range, a specific group. They refer only to all the world and everyone in it, which was under Caesar’s dominion. They have absolutely no bearing upon or reference to you and me.

So, too, when those words are used in reference to the saving purpose of God the Father, the redemptive work of God the Son, and the blessed call of God the Holy Spirit, the words “all,” “every,” and “world” must be defined by the context in which they are found. It is utterly dishonest to tear them from their context and pervert them into a doctrine that blasphemes the triune God and would rob him of the glory of his grace.

Don Fortner

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