Bulletin Edition February 2023


Believer, what a Saviour God has provided for His people (Gen.22:8; Matt. 1:21)! The Almighty God (John 1:1), yet all tender Saviour and Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us (John 10:11; Psa.23:1). How well-fitted Jesus Christ is to be our Great High Priest (Heb. 2:17; 4:14-16). How sufficient is He to supply our every need according to His riches in glory (Col. 2:9-10; Phil. 4:19). How complete His wisdom and grace to provide for us perfect atonement and full justification from all our sin (Heb. 9:12; Rom. 3:24). How gracious the Lord is to impute His righteousness to us freely by His grace forever (Rom. 4:6; 2Cor. 5:21). He sets guilty, poor and lost sinners free by His almighty power and sovereign grace (Luke 4:18; Rom. 9:13-16). I say again, hallelujah what a Saviour we have in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 7:9-10; 19:6).                  Pastor Tom Harding

God commands the impossible. Believe, come, repent, abide are all commands that the natural man is incapable of doing. What God requires; God must provide. How wise is our God who makes all of our salvation His doing. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness. Ps. 143:8. Turn us again, Oh God, and cause Thy Face to shine; and we shall be saved. Ps. 80:3. We come to Christ for faith, not with faith. Truly, He gets all the glory in all of our salvation.   

Greg Elmquist

There are no two things in the Bible more different than LAW and GRACE, which is nothing more than salvation by our works or salvation by free grace through the obedience and death of our Lord Jesus. The first assignment in learning the gospel is to learn the difference between law and grace. He who learns the lesson well can call himself a theologian.

Paul calls the story of Sarah and Hagar an allegory (Gal. 4:24). An allegory is a story in which the characters are used to picture other real characters and real actions.

God promised Abraham a son by his true wife, Sarah. Time passed and no son was born; so Sarah gave her servant, Hagar, to Abraham to bear him a son. Ishmael was born to Hagar by Abraham. In due time the promised son, Isaac, was born to Sarah. The son of the servant, Hagar, mocked Isaac and proved that the two could not live together; so Hagar and Ishmael had to be put out of the household. Isaac reigned alone as the heir of Abraham.

1. Paul said that these two women represent the two covenants.

Hagar, the servant, represents the covenant of law, works, and ceremonies from Mt. Sinai. In the covenant of law and works God says, “Do this and live.”

Sarah, the true wife of Abraham, represents God’s eternal covenant of grace in Christ Jesus. This covenant was first, was from all eternity, was not made between God and men but between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Heb. 7:22; Heb. 13:20; John 17:2-3). The covenant of grace says, “Do this, O Christ, and men shall live.” God gives eternal life without works from men (Rom. 3:19-24).

2. Though Hagar bore the first son, as the covenant of works gave us fallen Adam and a depraved race, yet Sarah was the original and first wife of Abraham, as the covenant of grace was the first covenant. The covenant of works was REVEALED first: but before there was ever a sinner, there was a covenant of grace and its surety, Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; Rev. 17:8; I Peter 1:18-21). We were chosen in Christ before the world began (Eph. 1:3-4: II Thess. 2:13).

3. Hagar was never intended to be the wife of Abraham, nor was Ishmael THAT SEED which was promised. Hagar was the handmaid of Sarah. So the law was never given nor intended to save anyone. It was only a handmaid to grace to point men to Christ, the seed (Gal. 3:21-29; Gal. 3:16). The law properly used is a blessing. It shows our sins, our inability; it shuts men up to Christ. If the law is the servant to grace, that’s well and good; but when the law tries to be the master or on equal footing with grace, it must go! (Gal. 4:30-31.)

4. Hagar was never free and Sarah was never in bondage. The. covenant of works and none of her children are free. All who live by the law are under the curse (Gal. 3:10-13). But the seed of Abraham by faith are free: “for if the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

5. Hagar must be cast out as well as her son (Heb. 10:1-10). The covenant of works has ceased, being fulfilled by Christ. It cannot have a place in the redemption and reign of Christ Jesus. Nor is he a son of Abraham who is one by flesh or natural birth. He is a son of Abraham who is one by faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 2:28-29: Gal. 3:7-9, 16, 29).

6. As the two women are types of the two covenants, so the two sons are types of those who live under each covenant.

Ishmael is the man who trusts his works and seeks a righteousness before God bv his deeds. Isaac is the man born supernaturally of God (John 1:13), brought to faith in Christ, and walks in the Spirit, not the flesh, whose wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption is Christ (I Cor. 1:30;. Col. 2:9-10).

Ishmael is the older, as the old man is older than the new man created in Christ Jesus. We are all born flesh first, then born again with that new nature which lives forever.

Ishmael is the son of the flesh; Isaac is the son by Divine power. We are all born sons of men, then sons of God.

Ishmael’s attitude toward Isaac (Gal. 3:29) is the same attitude the legalist displays toward sons of grace today. You will never find a free-will legalist to be tolerant toward the gospel of grace. The gospel of grace destroys his very foundation, which is MERIT, not MERCY!

Henry Mahan

Believers And Their Afflictions

Paul wrote that God afflicts us “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Heb. 12:10). “It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes” (Psa. 119:71). Someone said, “The flowers smell sweetest after a shower, and trees bear more fruit if they are pruned.” Afflictions and trials are God’s furnace by which He PROVES OUR FAITH. The sturdy vessels of faith are able to do business in deep waters. They are not shaken and destroyed by the storms of life. Faith in Christ will cry with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 1:21). Afflictions and trials give birth to SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING. We can weep with those who weep only if we have wept alone. We can more readily forgive the fallen from their fallen position if we have fallen and have experienced forgiveness. It is difficult to criticise a fellow cellmate and impossible to cry “unclean” of a fellow leper. Yes, afflictions and trials are good.                                                         ~Scott Richardson

The Necessity Of Faith In Christ    

Hebrews 11:6

     Why is faith in Christ necessary? Why must sinners trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone as Savior and Lord? Much needs to be said in this regard, but three facts will suffice to show the necessity of faith.

     1. THE ONLY WAY FALLEN MEN AND WOMEN CAN EVER PLEASE THE HOLY LORD GOD IS BY FAITH IN CHRIST (Heb. 11:6). No man since the fall of Adam has ever pleased God, or done anything acceptable and pleasing in God’s sight, except by faith in Christ. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and all the great champions of faith listed in Hebrews 11 were pleasing and acceptable to God, not because of what they did, but because of Christ whom they trusted. You and I, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, are accepted in the same way and in the same measure. Every sinner who trusts Christ alone as his Savior and Lord pleases God and is accepted in the Beloved, because we fulfill the law of God by faith in him (Rom. 3:31; 8:4), giving him everything he requires from men: righteousness and satisfaction.

     2. THERE IS NO TRUE HUMILITY APART FROM FAITH IN CHRIST (Zech. 12:10). God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). But the only truly humble person in this world is one who trusts Christ alone for salvation. Everyone else proudly holds some work, feeling, or goodness by which he imagines himself worthy of God’s acceptance. Only believers are truly humble. We come to God as empty-handed, bankrupt paupers, knowing that we must have grace, knowing our need of a Substitute. We receive Christ and the grace of God in him as a free gift, not a wage or reward. We trust Christ alone for our total, everlasting acceptance with God (I Cor. 1:30).

     3. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY FOR A SINNER TO COME TO GOD AND BE SAVED (Acts 4:12). Salvation is by “faith that it might be by grace” (Rom. 4:16). Christ alone is the Door by which men enter into life (John 10:9). Christ alone is the Way in which to walk to God and with God (John 14:6). You cannot be saved by legal obedience (Gal. 3:10). You cannot be saved by religious works, rituals, and sacrifices (Isa. 1:10-15). You can only be saved by faith in Christ.

Don Fortner

What God Has Promised,

He Is Able To Perform

“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”                                                                       Romans 4:21

When Abraham was an old man and his wife Sarah was well passed the age of bearing children, God made him a promise. He promised Abraham a son by his wife Sarah, through whom his Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, would come, who would bring upon all the nations of the earth the blessing of God’s eternal salvation. And Abraham believed it, because he believed that God was able to perform what he promised.


Faith must be tested, tried, and proved; and God tried Abraham’s faith. Many years passed. Still, Abraham believed God. Many trials had to be endured. Yet, Abraham continued to believe God. The older he and Sarah got, the less likely it appeared that they would have a son. The promise was contradicted by all past history, all human reason, and all the apparent circumstances of providence.

Faith believes God without evidences and in spite of obstacles. It was “biologically” impossible for such an old couple to have a son. And it was even more insane, (according to all human reason), to expect that one of Abraham’s descendants would be God in human flesh, the Savior of the world. Yet, Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform.”

Abraham acted according to his faith. He believed that God Almighty was able to give him a son, that with him nothing is impossible. His faith had the omnipotent God for its Object. And when he was a hundred years old God gave him a son through the womb of Sarah, his ninety year old wife, according to his promise.


This great work of God, and Abraham’s faith in him, is not recorded for Abraham’s sake alone, but for ours, that we might also believe God. All the promises of God to his people in Christ Jesus are yea and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). Because God is almighty, omnipotent, we can confidently trust him to do all that he has promised. Let us ever believe him, and act according to faith. All that he has promised of temporal good, providential good, spiritual good and eternal good, he will do for all who believe him. And by believing him we glorify him.

The immeasurable riches of His grace

(Horatius Bonar, “The God of Grace“)

“Where sin abounded, grace did much more
 abound!” Romans 5:20

The history of our world has been the story of
abounding sin–and far more abounding grace!

What was Abraham‘s history–but one of
abounding sin and super-abounding grace?

What was Rahab‘s history–but a history of
abounding sin and super-abounding grace?

What was David‘s history–but a history of
abounding sin and super-abounding grace?

What was Manasseh‘s history–but a history
of abounding sin and super-abounding grace?

What was the history of Saul of Tarsus, but one
of abounding sin and super-abounding grace, as
he himself declares, “The grace of our Lord was
poured out on me abundantly.” 1 Timothy 1:14

What is all this world’s long history–but a history
of abounding sin and super-abounding grace?
God not merely allowed sin to enter–but to spread;
not only to spread–but to increase in heinousness;
not only to increase in heinousness–but to vary itself,
and take every conceivable shape that man’s wicked
heart could devise–all in order to demonstrate that
His resources of grace were adequate to meet it all.

Sin might widen its circle age after age–but grace
widened its circle and still went far beyond man’s
transgression. For age after age sin ascended a higher
pinnacle of rebellious ungodliness; but grace ascended
along with it, and took its station far above it, like
a bright canopy of heavenly azure. Age after age
descended to lower and lower depths of hateful
pollution; grace went down along with it. And when
the soul found itself at the very bottom of the horrible
pit, and expected to meet nothing there but hell itself,
it found the hand of grace still beneath it, as mighty to
save, as willing to bless as ever. “So that in the coming
ages He might display the immeasurable riches of
His grace
, in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:7

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