Bulletin Edition January 2022

Christ My Only Hope Forever

If the possession of heaven could be obtained with only a single act of goodness – never to all eternity should I find it. “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” Oh! Then for grace to know Thee, to love Thee, to follow Thee, as my only good, my hope, my righteousness, my portion forever!        ~Robert Hawker

God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God will make nothing out of him.                                  ~Martin Luther

If we knew how needy we are, we would not neglect to pray. If we knew how vile we are, we would not fail to thank Him for His mercy. If we knew how glorious He is, we would not cease to praise Him. If we knew how soon we will be with Him, we would not be discouraged.                                                Pastor Chris Cunningham

After some years’ experience, the Christian comes to know, better than he did at first, how much the gospel suits him. He finds that its simplicity suits his bewilderment; its grace suits his sinfulness; its power is suitable to his weakness; it’s comfort to his despondence; and the more he grows, the more he loves the gospel of the grace of God.                                                             ~CHS

I am sure that some who lived in the days of our Lord’s visitation to earth, and many who heard the Gospel from the apostles, and the faithful preachers who followed them, could tell you the exact day they met the risen Redeemer, and bowed to His sovereign rule. I have never felt that it was important for a person to be able to tell when he was saved, but rather that he was able now to state he has experienced repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, that now he is looking to Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, and is now resting in his righteousness, and a effectual sin- offering.

Too often men and women like to establish a time of conversion and an experience, in order to have something to look back upon for comfort and assurance. This is dangerous! We are not to look to anything or to anyone but Christ for our hope, our assurance, and our comfort. Paul said something about “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward onto those things which are before,” and, “looking unto the Lord Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”

Most of us came through the confusion, errors, and false professions of modern fundamentalism and had so much to unlearn, so many false foundations which had to be destroyed, that it is difficult to set an exact hour when our eyes were turned, totally from our idols of religion to our living Lord—when our hearts were weaned from the pride of our religious works and professions and brought to rest in him alone!

This is the unaided work of the Spirit of God, and the Word of God; and this is a living union which shall never be dissolved. This is accomplished when sinners hear the Gospel of God‘s grace and glory.                                                          Pastor Henry Mahan, 1984

Those who have been saved are those who are being saved (I Cor. 1:18: Philippians 1:6; 2:12, 13). Those who have learned of Christ are those who are learning of Him (John 6:45; Matthew 11:29). Those who know the Lord are those who desire to know Him (Philippians 3:7-10). Those who have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6), are those who continue to cry, “Lord, I beseech thee, show me thy glory” Exodus 33:18). These are the people who by the grace of God can say, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Ps. 17:15).        ~Maurice Montgomery

The reason faith sees the Gospel as new is because faith is in the present.  When my faith seems old or stale it is because it is not present faith.  It becomes faith in past experiences and that is not faith in a present Christ, but in yesterday’s faith, which like yesterday’s manna, breeds worms and stinks.  If my faith is in the present, the Gospel is good news indeed for the present.  Old, stale faith like yesterday’s mews is no longer new!  How much do I need Christ and His Gospel right now?  That is how the Gospel will remain new and fresh to me.  It is only His grace that will keep us in the present!                                                                  ~Todd Nibert

Do we have any evidence that we really intend to go there?

(John Owen)

We all profess that we are bound for Heaven, immortality and glory. But do we have any evidence that we really intend to go there—if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us—and have only occasional thoughts of things above?

“If ye then be risen with Christ—seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above—not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear—then shall ye also appear with Him in glory!” Colossians 3:1-4

Dear friend,
You say that you are conscious of defects and defilements. But your heart could not be right—if you did not feel these things. To be conscious of them, and humbled for them—is one of the surest marks of grace; and to be more deeply sensible of them than formerly—is the best evidence of growth in grace!

Our righteousness is in Jesus alone; and our hope depends, not upon the exercise of grace in us—but upon the fullness of grace and love in Him, and upon His obedience unto death.

It is a mighty manifestation of His grace indeed—when it can live, and act, and conquer in such hearts as ours; when, in defiance of an evil nature and an evil world, and all the force and subtlety of Satan—a weak worm is still upheld; when a small spark is preserved through storms and floods!

In these circumstances, the work of grace is to be estimated, not merely from its imperfect appearance—but from the difficulties it has to struggle with and overcome. Therefore our holiness does not consist in great attainments—but in spiritual desires, in hungerings, thirstings, and mournings; in humiliation of heart, poverty of spirit, submission, and meekness; in hearty admiring thoughts of Jesus, and dependence upon Him alone for all we need. Indeed these may be said to be great attainments; but they who have most of them are most sensible that they, in and of themselves, are nothing, have nothing, can do nothing—and see daily cause for abhorring themselves and repenting in dust and ashes!

The Evidence Of Faith         

Hebrews 11:1

     Assurance in the Word of God is based upon faith. The Scriptures never speak of the assurance of love, or the assurance of works, or the assurance of experience. The Scriptures only speak of “the full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22) and “the full assurance of hope” (Heb. 6:11). And hope is built upon faith. This faith is the gift of God the Holy Spirit, wrought in and given to God’s elect in regeneration by the preaching of the gospel (Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; Col. 2:12; Rom. 10:17; James 1:18; I Pet. 1:23-25). True faith is based upon and born of the knowledge of the gospel. No one can or will trust Christ until he sees (1) his need of a Substitute, (2) how that God can be just and the justifier of the ungodly through the merits of Christ, and (3) that salvation is by grace alone.

     This faith in Christ is the sure, certain, infallible evidence, proof, and assurance of eternal salvation. Faith is not the cause of grace, salvation, and eternal life. But faith is the proof and evidence of these things.

     “FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR.” That word “substance” means “faith is the essence, certainty, and assurance of things hoped for.” Faith possesses beforehand what God has promised to give. “Verily, verily”, our Lord said, “He that believeth on me hath (in possession) everlasting life” (John 6:47).

     “FAITH IS THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.” “Evidence” means “proof”. By faith in Christ I read my name in the Book of Life. Faith did not write it there. God wrote it there before the world was made. But my faith in Christ is the proof that it is there. “Faith is the proof of things not seen.” Faith is the proof of things past, done in eternity, but not seen by men. It is the proof of my election and interest in the covenant of grace. Faith is the proof of things done in time, though now unseen: the creation of the world, the righteousness established by Christ, the redemption accomplished by Christ, and my justification in him. And faith is the proof of future things now unseen: the resurrection of the dead, the judgment, and my eternal glory in and with Christ.

     If you can now believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, I assure you upon the authority of God’s Word, YOU HAVE A SAVING INTEREST IN CHRIST (I John 5:1, 5-13).

Don Fortner

“Let him that thinketh he stands—take heed lest he fall.” — 1 Corinthians 10:12

C.H.Spurgeon

It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, “I have great faith—I shall not fall; poor little faith may fall—but I never shall.” “I have fervent love,” says another, “I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray.” He who boasts of grace—has little grace to boast of. Some who do, this imagine that their graces can keep them—not knowing that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burns brightly today—it will smoke tomorrow, and noxious will be its odor.

Take heed that you don’t boast in your graces—but let all your glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only so can you be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you—that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of Him. And when that happy day shall come, when He whom you love shall say, “Come up higher!” may it be your happiness to hear Him say, “You have fought a good fight—you have finished your course—and henceforth there is laid up for you an unfading crown of righteousness!”

On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, “Uphold me, according to Your Word!” He is able, and He alone, “To keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy!”

GOD’S WORD

(The following is by Spurgeon)

“He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth:

 His word runneth very swiftly” (Psalm 147:15).

No language ever stirs the deeps of my nature like the Word of

God, and none produces such a profound calm within my spirit.

As no other voice can,

  it melts me to tears,

  it humbles me in the dust,

  it fires me with enthusiasm,

  it fills me with pleasure,

  it elevates me to holiness.

Every faculty of my being owns the power of the sacred Word.

It sweetens my memory,

  it brightens my hope,

  it stimulates my imagination,

  it directs my judgment,

  it commands my will, and

  it cheers my heart.

The word of man charms me for the time,

  but I outlive and outgrow its power.

It is altogether the reverse with the Word of the King of kings;

it rules me more sovereignly, more practically, more habitually,

more completely every day. Its power is for all seasons–for

sickness and for health, for solitude and for company, for

personal emergencies and for public assemblies.

I had sooner have the Word of God at my back than all the

armies and navies of all the great powers, aye, than all the

forces of nature; for the Word of the Lord is the source of

all the power in the universe, and within it there is an infinite

supply in reserve.

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