Bulletin Edition December 2022

The greatest liar, thief, adulterer and murderer

(Martin Luther)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus became the greatest liar, thief, adulterer and murderer
that mankind has ever known–not because He committed these
sins–but because He was actually made sin for us.

If my pocket was full of stones!

(Letters of John Newton)

John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

John 8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

If my pocket was full of stones, I have no right to throw one at the greatest sinner upon earth. I have either done as bad, or worse than he — or I certainly would have done so, if the Lord had left me to myself — for I am made of just the same materials. If there is any difference between myself and the greatest wretch — it is wholly of sovereign grace!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10

I am not satisfied with anything that has my fingerprints on it.  I can only find satisfaction in that which God finds satisfaction in.  “He shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied.”  God is completely satisfied with the work of His Son.  He is perfectly satisfied with all for whom Christ died!  Christ is satisfied with what He did in their behalf.  That is why He sat down at the right hand of God.  He left nothing undone!  The Spirit is satisfied with the work of the Son.  “By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified, whereof also the Holy Ghost is a witness to us.”  If the Father, Son, and Spirit are completely satisfied with what Christ did, I am too! 

Todd Nibert

The heart of God’s child

(J. C. Philpot, “The Heir of Heaven Walking in
Darkness, and the Heir of Hell Walking in Light”)

There is much . . .
  superstition and
to be purged out of the heart of God’s child.

But all these things . . .
  keep him low,
  mar his pride,
  crush his self-righteousness,
  cut the locks of his presumption,
  stain his self conceit,
  stop his boasting,
  preserve him from despising others,
  make him take the lowest room,
  teach him to esteem others better than himself,
  drive him to earnest prayer,
  fit him as an object of mercy,
  break to pieces his free will, and
lay him low at the feet of the Redeemer, as
one to be saved by sovereign grace alone!

Love covers, overlooks, speedily forgives and forgets

(Don Fortner)

“Hatred stirreth up strifes, but love covereth all sins.” Proverbs 10:12

Hatred is the selfish principle of an unregenerate man. It may be varnished by religion and smoothed by hypocrisy, but it is a subterranean storm, continually stirring up mischief and evil. Hatred creates or keeps alive carnal strifes. It causes coldness. It creates disharmony. It stirs up envy, malicious talk, and evil suspicions. Hatred carps at the least infirmity in others, and aggravates the least fault. Hatred resents the most trifling offence. It is provoked by the least imaginary wrong. ‘An ungodly man digs up evil.’ Such strifes are kindled to the great dishonour of God. They mar the beauty of the gospel. Let us resist this evil of the old man by watchfulness and prayer ‘and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God’.

Love is the fruit of the Spirit. It covers a multitude of evils. Let us study 1 Corinthians 13 in all its detail, and make it the pattern for our lives. Let this be the mirror of our hearts and the standard of our profession. Love covers, overlooks, speedily forgives and forgets. Love invents reasons to avoid strife. Love puts the best possible construction on doubtful matters. Love seeks unity and agreement. Love does not rigidly examine a brother’s failures. It will not deliberately expose a brother’s faults. It refuses to uncover the sins of another.

To refrain from gross slander, while leaving room for needless and unkind doubt, is not covering sin. Nor is the ‘seven-times forgiveness’ the true standard of love. Love, like its divine Author, covers ALL sins.

Who among us does not need the full extent of this covering? What is our brother’s evil against us, compared with our sin against God? Can we hesitate to blot out our brother’s few dollars, who look for a covering for our debt of ten million dollars to God? Let us imitate Christ’s spirit of forbearing, forgiving, self-sacrificing love!

“Be ye kind to one another and tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

That wonderful medicine!

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

“who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases” Psalm 103:3

What a mass of . . .
  filth and folly,
  blindness and ignorance,
  deceit and hypocrisy,
  carnality, sensuality, and devilism are we!

Prone to all that is bad, utterly averse to all
that is good–bent upon sin–hating holiness,
heavenly-mindedness, and spirituality–what
earthly wretches, guilty monsters, abominable
creature are we!

And if our minds are sometimes drawn upwards
in faith and affection, and we pant after the living
God–how soon, how almost instantly, do we drop
down again into our earthly self, whence we are
utterly unable to rise until the Blessed Spirit lifts
us out again! What fits of unbelief, shakings of
infidelity, fevers of lust, agues of carelessness,
consumptions of faith, hope, love and zeal; yes,
what a host of diseases dwell in our poor soul!

But they all admit of a twofold cure–that wonderful
 which John saw run from the wounded side
of the Redeemer–blood and water; the one to heal,
the other to wash; the one to atone, the other to
cleanse; justification by blood, and sanctification
by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the
Holy Spirit.

“but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
    1 John 1:7

Mere notional knowledge

By J. C. Philpot

The distinction that we are drawing between a gracious knowledge of the truth—and a mere notional knowledge is plain enough to every discerning child of God. He carries daily in his own bosom a test which discovers to him the difference between the knowledge which puffs up—and the knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ whom he has sent, which is eternal life. He deeply feels that “the anointing which teaches of all things and is truth, and is no lie,” widely differs from a few speculative notions; and that the heavenly wisdom which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy,” as far exceeds a natural, notional knowledge of the truth as the reality exceeds the counterfeit, and precious metal worthless dross and clay.

The one, he sees and feels, is grace, the other nature; one is spirit, the other flesh; one is power, the other form; one is light, life, liberty, and love; the other darkness, death, bondage, and enmity; by the one Jesus is revealed and made experimentally known, the kingdom of God set up in the heart, and Christ formed within, the hope of glory; by the other, pride and self are set up, the flesh pleased and gratified, and a name to live substituted for the work of faith with power. By the one, sin is repented of and forsaken; the world put under the feet; and every fruit and grace of the Spirit brought forth into living and active exercise. By the other, the heart is deceived; the conscience hardened; sin indulged; the strong man armed kept in possession of his palace; the flesh gratified; and the world loved and eagerly pursued.

By the one, the saints of God are highly esteemed and dearly loved—their company sought after, their trials and afflictions sympathised with, their infirmities borne with, and they esteemed the excellent of the earth, with whom we wish to live and die. By the other, the real people of God are despised and hated, their company avoided, their experience misunderstood or misrepresented, and the heady, high-minded, dead, and lifeless professors preferred before them.

Need we say more? Who that has eyes to see the state of the professing church, or is favoured with any spiritual discernment to distinguish between the living family of God and those who have a name to live but are dead, will not say that these things are true

The point at which we have been aiming is to show the blessedness of that spirit of wisdom and knowledge which the Lord bestows on his people and to distinguish it from that mere speculative, natural, and notional acquaintance with the truth, which is commonly called head knowledge. Now, this heavenly principle, this gracious, enlightened apprehension of the spiritual understanding, needs to be fed and nurtured that it may not gradually pine away for lack of suitable nourishment, but rather thrive and grow. Various, indeed, are the ways which the Lord employs to strengthen and sustain this heavenly principle, such as temptation, trials, afflictions, a daily cross, and a continual conflict. But his chief means, and that to which all others are but subordinate, is the word of truth. The promises applied with a divine power to the heart; the invitations and exhortations scattered up and down the sacred page; the grand and glorious truths of the everlasting gospel, shining like so many brilliant constellations in the skies of the inspired record; the testimony everywhere given in the Scriptures to the Person and work of the Son of God, from the first promise in Eden to the closing prayer, “Even so come Lord Jesus;” (Rev. 22:20;) the opening up of the word of truth by the light, life, and power of the Holy Spirit; and the sealing evidence afforded thereby that these are the true sayings of God—such is the food of that heavenly understanding which the Lord bestows on his people.

Consider Jesus– as Without Deceit

“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22

Purer than the purest crystal, more transparent than the brightest sun, was the character of Jesus. It needed but the visual organ purged from the blinding and distorting effects of sin to have looked into the deepest recesses of His heart, to have seen every pulse, to have read every thought, and to have fathomed every purpose of His soul–so open, transparent, and childlike was He. His foes sought with deception to ensnare Him, but He was too innocent to be ensnared. The moral atmosphere of His being was too pure and translucid for their wicked purposes to find a single fault. They could fix no thought, excite no passion, rouse no imagination within His breast that would have left a taint or a cloud upon that pure, bright spirit of His. What He declared of Satan could with equal truth have been affirmed of ungodly men–“The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.” They found no evil in Him upon which their own sinfulness could work. Wickedness could not for a moment exist in an atmosphere so holy.

Consider the integrity and honesty of Jesus as the fulfilment of a prophecy: “Neither was any deceit in His mouth” (Isa. 53:9). Ponder carefully, my soul, every fulfilment of prophecy concerning your precious Jesus. It will fortify you against the assaults of infidelity and the suggestions of Satan, and enlarge your knowledge of, and deepen your love to, the Saviour. Behold the fulfilment of this remarkable prediction–“Neither was deceit found in His mouth.”

Octavius Winslow

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