Bulletin Edition December 2022

True pilgrims!
(from “Solitude Sweetened” by Octavius Winslow)

Fellow pilgrims, the heavenly way we travel
is more or less a lonely way.  We have, at
most, but few companions. It is a “little flock,”
and only here and there we meet a traveler, who,
like ourselves, is journeying towards heaven.

Because the way is narrow, difficult, and
humiliating to the flesh, there are only a few,
under the drawings of the Spirit, who find it.

If true religion consisted in a ‘mere profession’
then there are many on the way to heaven.

If the marks of discipleship were merely an
orthodox creed, excited feelings, or denominational
zeal, then there are many who ‘find the way.’

But true pilgrims are
  those with broken hearts;
  those who are poor in spirit;
  those who mourn for sin;
  those who know the music of the Shepherd’s voice;
  those who follow the Lamb;
  those who delight in the throne of grace; and
  those who love the place of the cross.

“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6.

Octavius Winslow

All who? -the one Church of God. One covenant God and Father unites the one family in heaven and in earth. They are one in His choice, one in His purpose, one in His covenant, one in His heart. The same will chose them- the same affection loved them- the same decree predestinated them: they are one in Him. Blessed truth! “One God and Father.” Behold them clustering together around the mercy-seat: they come from various parts of the world, they speak different languages, they express opposite feelings, they unfold needs and sorrows; yet listen! they all address Him as “Our Father.” Every heart bows in love to Him, every heart is fixed in faith upon Him, and every tongue breathes the lofty, and endearing, and holy name of “Abba, Father.” There, in the glowing light amid which the throne of mercy, stands, all sectarian feeling dies, all denominational distinction is lost, and Christians of every name meet, and embrace, and love as brethren. Holy thought! One God loves all, and protects all; one Father pities all, supplies all, bears with all, and, with an impartial affection, binds all together and alike in His heart.

Preachers Needed and Sent

Romans 10:13-17

In order to hear the gospel, someone must preach the gospel to you. — “How shall they hear without a preacher?” God will not reveal the gospel to men by supernatural agencies. Someone must make the truth known to men. They cannot learn without being taught. So, let us carry the Word of grace to perishing men.

Preachers Needed

Preachers are needed. I have, for many years, regularly travelled many miles to preach to churches that have no pastor. Many who speak of being called to preach the gospel are aware of the need, but are not willing to go to unappealing places. How sad! I pity such men. God’s servants go wherever the Lord God is pleased to send them, without consideration for their own welfare and desires.

      Let us heed our Lord’s command and pray incessantly that the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers into the field to gather in his harvest by the preaching of the gospel.

      If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are his witness, and you should be his preacher. You may never stand in a pulpit, but you should be a preacher of the gospel. You do not have to have any great learning or unusual gifts to preach the gospel. If you know the gospel, you can tell it to others. You can tell sinners what Christ did at Calvary. And you can tell people what God has done for you by his grace. Usually, it is not a lack of ability that keeps us from witnessing to men; it is a lack of concern for their souls, and a lack of love for Christ.

      When you have told a sinner the story of the cross, you have fulfilled your responsibility to him. This is a debt we owe to all men. Make it your business every day to tell some perishing, eternity bound sinner the way of life. It is a shameful pity that any man should live and die without hearing the gospel.

Preachers Sent

In order to preach the gospel, a man must be sent of God. — “How shall they preach except they be sent?” No man can truly preach the gospel in the power of God the Holy Ghost except he be sent of God. Here are four things that are true of every gospel preacher.

1.    He has a message to deliver. He is an ambassador with a message.

2.    He must deliver the message God has given him. There is an impulse within. He carries with him the burden of the Lord. It is like fire in his bones.

3.    He will deliver his message with the authority and power of heaven’s eternal throne.

4.    He will return to his Master to give a report of his labor.

Will you pray for your pastor, and for every man called and sent of God to preach the gospel, that every time they stand before eternity bound sinners to open the Book of God they may be at that hour sent of God? Every time you are privileged to hear a man preach the gospel, pray that God will graciously send him with a message to you. If he does, the gospel will come to you, not in word only, but “in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.

Don Fortner

Our Fellowship

I John 1:3

There are few words in the vocabulary of a believer‑ more precious, than these two. Our fellowship is that sweet communion of brethren dwelling together in unity. Our fellowship is the joyful agreement of the church family. Our fellowship is the oneness of heart which God’s saints enjoy by the power of Christ. It is that unity of the Spirit which is the bond of peace. It is that love which is the bond of perfection.

How thankful we ought to be for our fellowship here, as a church of Christ, There are few places where such fellowship can be found. Yet, we must ever remember that, our fellowship with each other arises from, and is dependent upon, our fellowship with God.

Here is the blessed accomplishment of God’s grace -That fellowship with God, which our race lost by the fall and sin of Adam, has been restored through the mediation of Christ. With his blood, Christ washed away our sins, reconciling God to us in all the fulness of his holy being. By his Spirit, Christ has reconciled us to God, purging our consciences from all guilt, through the gracious application of the blood to our hearts. Now, we who were once enemies, aliens, and strangers to God are reconciled, accepted, and fellow-citizens in Christ! Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” As believers, we have all things in common with God Almighty in Christ Jesus!

Don Fortner

The Treasure In Earthen Vessels                  

2 Corinthians 4:7

            The treasure God’s servants carry through the world is the gospel of his grace, by which he communicates to chosen sinners all the blessings of grace and salvation in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14). But the preachers who carry this treasure are only “earthen vessels,” clay pots, worthless and meaningless in themselves.

            The preacher is, in himself, nothing. He is a sinner saved by grace, no more. He is a vessel in which the treasure is carried. In all my life, I never heard of a woman who had received a diamond ring admiring or idolizing the pretty box in which it was carried. Unlike the box that carries the diamond, God’s servants are “earthen vessels,” just clay pots, unadorned, ugly, and far too earthen to be of any value.

            It does not matter whether the preacher has a string of degrees or no degrees, an energetic and oratorical style, or no style – He is just an earthen vessel. The only thing of significance is “the treasure,” the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            The treasure we carry by which God is pleased to save his elect is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is identified in many, many ways in Holy Scripture (Matt. 4:23; Mk. 1:1; Acts 20:24; Rom. 1:1, 9; 10:15; Eph. 1:13). But be sure you understand this – That which God uses to save his elect is not the false gospel of Arminian, freewill, works religion (Gal. 1:6-9), but the gospel of his free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ (Rom. 1:15-17). God does not use religious lies to bring men to know him who is the Truth. It is not the lie of works, but the truth of grace that makes sinners free.

            That which is primary and essential in the gospel and that which must be primary in our preaching is the sin-atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3). The gospel has not been preached until men have been made to hear “How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,” not just that he died, but HOW he died.

            Here are four words that define “How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” SOVEREIGNTY – Christ died by an act of his own sovereign will, according to the purpose of the sovereign Lord God, for the people he was sent of God to save (John 10:14-18; Acts 2:23; Heb. 10:5-10). SUBSTITUTION – Our Lord Jesus Christ died as the Substitute for God’s elect. He laid down his life for his sheep, not the goats (John 10:11, 14). It is utter folly to imagine that he would die for people for whom he refused even to pray (John 17:9, 20). Is it not? Christ died for his people (Isa. 53:8), not those who are not his people. SATISFACTION – Being both God and Man in one glorious Person, our Savior was able, by his one great sacrifice, to satisfy the justice of God’s holy law and justice (Rom. 3:24-26). His was a sacrifice of infinite merit! SUCCESS – All that Christ wanted to accomplish as the result of his death at Calvary shall be accomplished by the efficacy of his grace (Isa. 53:10-11). It is written, “He shall not fail!”

Don Fortner

True conversion means turning not only from sin—but also from depending on self-made righteousness. This is the reason that self-righteous people are so angry with gospel preachers, because the gospel does not spare those who will not submit to the righteousness of Jesus Christ!

George Whitefield

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