Bulletin Edition March 2023

“Now I See”          

John 9:25

David Brainard described his experience of God’s saving grace by declaring that five powerful truths dawned upon his soul, by which all his carnal hopes were slain, by which he was at last brought to faith in Christ. My own experience of grace is an echo of his.

I saw my sin. God the Holy Spirit convinced me of my sin (John 16:8), of the sinfulness of my sinful deeds, the sinfulness of my heart and nature, and the sinfulness of my righteousness. I saw that even my noblest deeds are filthy rags in God’s sight.

I saw the infinite holiness of God’s law. The law of God requires perfection. God cannot and will not accept anything less than absolute perfection (Lev. 22:21). Whatever I bring to God, if he accepts it, must be perfect.

I saw that the only hope for sinners is a perfect substitute. I must have someone to obey the law and accomplish righteousness for me. I must have someone to make an infinite, justice satisfying atonement for my sins. That Substitute I found in Jesus Christ the Son of God (Rom. 3:24-26; 2 Cor. 5:21).

I saw that faith in Christ is the only way a sinner can ever find acceptance with God. God’s gracious salvation comes to sinners through faith in Christ (Eph, 2:8). All who believe on the Son of God have everlasting life (John 3:36). But I could not believe. I could not muster faith from within myself.

And I saw that faith in Christ is the gift of God. Faith in Christ is not within the realm of human ability. It is the gift of God (John 1:12-13; Eph. 2:8-9). Faith is the operation of God, the work of grace in a man’s soul (Col. 2:12). It is not the result of man’s “free will.” Faith is given to sinners according to God’s sovereign will (Rom. 9:16).

            By these five truths I was slain; all hope in myself was gone. And I was compelled to fall down before Christ, suing for mercy, crying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner…Lord, if you will, you can make me whole.”

Now, “I through the law am dead to the law,” because I have been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:19-21), dead to the law absolutely! There is no hope held out to any man in the law. The sinner’s only hope of salvation is faith in Christ. You must trust the Son of God. By faith in Christ, we who believe fulfil the law of God (Rom. 3:31). We must never allow anyone to bring us back under the yoke of the law (Gal. 5:1).

Don Fortner

By the grace of God I am what I am!
1 Corinthians 15:10

(Letters of John Newton)

As believers, we are often affected with a sense of God’s distinguishing mercy to us. We are debtors, great debtors to the sovereign grace of God, which alone makes us to differ from the perishing world around us!

Yet it does not yet appear what we shall be. We cannot form a just conception of the misery from which we are redeemed, much less of the price paid for our redemption! How little do we know of the Redeemer’s surpassing excellency, and of the unutterable agonies He endured, when His soul was made an offering for sin, and it pleased the Father to bruise Him — that by His stripes we might be healed! These things will strike us in quite another manner — when we view them from the light of eternity!

May the cheering contemplation of the glorious hope set before us — support and animate us to improve our short interval on earth, and fill us with a holy  ambition of shining as lights in this evil world, to the praise and glory of His grace — who has called us out of darkness, into His glorious light!

Encompassed as we are with snares, temptations, and infirmities, it is possible (by His promised assistance) to live in some good measure above the world — above the influence of its cares, its smiles, or its frowns. Our citizenship is in heaven — we are not at home — but only reside here on earth for a season, to fulfil our appointed service. The Lord, whom we serve, has promised that He will guide us by His wisdom, strengthen us by His power, and comfort us with the light of His countenance, which is better than life. Every temporal blessing we receive from Him, is a token of His favour, and a pledge of that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which He has reserved for us in heaven. Oh! to hear Him say at last, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!” will be rich amends for all that we can lose, suffer, or endure, for His sake!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Such a poor, blind, ignorant creature as I

He who knows himself by divine teaching, and has had a glimpse of future bliss and glory, will often reason with himself, “How is such a poor, blind, ignorant creature as I—surrounded by so many enemies—oppressed or beguiled by so many of Satan’s temptations—beset by the workings of a depraved nature—how am I ever to enter the heavenly inheritance, and enjoy the promised rest?”

To get to heaven we must wade through difficulties, improbabilities, and impossibilities. We shall meet with hindrances, impediments, obstacles. And yet, for the Christian, grace superabounds over all the aboundings of sin, and lands him safe in glory!


This sacred teaching

All God’s people are sooner or later brought to this point in their experience—they are all brought to know their own sinfulness, ignorance, and helplessness. And when their eyes are thus anointed with eye-salve to discover their own wretchedness, the same unction from the Holy One reveals to them what Christ has done to save them from it! They learn by this sacred teaching, their own iniquity—and His atoning blood; their misery—and the bliss and blessedness which is secured up in Him! And when these two extremes meet in the quickened soul, it is brought in one and the same moment—while it debases itself—to exalt the Lord of life and glory! And while it thus sinks down in the depth of creature wretchedness—it learns to glory in the Lord Jesus alone, as it’s all in all.


When the eye is spiritually opened

When the eye is spiritually opened to see the glory of Jesus, it follows Him as a suffering Mediator to Calvary—there to view Him as a crucified Jesus—as the Lamb of God bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. And as the child of God looks by faith to the bleeding Lamb, he desires to have a spiritual revelation and manifestation of the mystery of the cross to his heart. And by this dying love entering into his soul, he is able to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep the love of Jesus really is!

Only the dying love of Christ spiritually felt and realised, can wean the soul from the world, and make the things of time and sense to appear in their true light—as stamped with vanity and vexation of spirit. The dying love of Christ, also, revealed to the soul, is the only thing that can make us love Jesus, and cleave to Him with full purpose of heart. Nothing but the dying love of Jesus can make us willing to leave the world, and part with the things of time and sense, so that we may forever be with the Lord. As the Lord Jesus in His endearing relationships is presented to the eyes of the spiritual understanding, faith flows out towards, hope anchors in, and love clasps firm hold of Him as thus revealed—and thus ardent desires and fervent longings are kindled in the soul to know Him experimentally in all these relations—and inwardly realize their sweetness and power!


Have You Submitted To God’s Righteousness?

Romans 10:2-3

THERE ARE MANY WHO EARNESTLY DESIRE SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE, WHO WILL NEVER BE SAVED. There are many thoughtful and zealous men and women who very eagerly seek salvation, who will perish under the curse of God’s holy law. They want to be saved, but they will not bow to God’s way of salvation. “I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”.

Mark those words, “submitted themselves”. Many will not be saved, multitudes will perish forever in hell under the wrath of God because they will not submit to God’s righteousness, that righteousness established by God in the Person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As you read these words, if you are not yet saved, if you are yet without Christ, if you are yet under the wrath of God, it is simply because you will not submit to salvation by grace alone through the imputed righteousness of Christ the sinners’ Substitute. You may talk about grace, waiting for grace, and praying for grace. You may talk about wanting to trust Christ. But you only deceive yourself. Your problem is that you keep trying to do something, find something, feel something, or experience something, anything of your own that you can bring to God with the blood and righteousness of Christ for salvation. You are trying to mix merit and mercy. You want to mix works and grace. You want to be a co-savior with the Son of God. That will never happen. God will not allow it.

PROUD MAN WANTS TO SAVE HIMSELF. You believe you can do it. You will not submit to salvation by Christ alone. If you would be saved, you must make your suit before the bar of God as an undeserving, hell-bent sinner, seeking the unmerited gift of his salvation on the footing of mercy alone! This is the thing the carnal mind cannot do – it cannot beg for grace. You think that you can work out a righteousness of your own that God will accept, or at least you can say, or do, or think, or feel some good things that will supplement the righteousness and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will not be saved by pure grace alone.

            IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, you are going to have to throw away your filthy rags of self-righteousness. You will have to come to Christ in your naked guilt, sin, and loathsomeness, or you will never be an heir of eternal life.

“Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked come to Thee for dress, Helpless look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die.”


Don Fortner

Supernatural light

(Joseph Philpot, “The Heir of Heaven Walking in
Darkness, and the Heir of Hell Walking in Light

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out
 of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the
 light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the
 face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6

Until, then, this supernatural light of God
enters into the soul, a man has no saving
knowledge of Jehovah. He may . . .
  say his prayers,
  read his Bible,
  attend preaching,
  observe ordinances,
  bestow all his goods to feed the poor,
  or give his body to be burned;
but he is as ignorant of God as
the cattle that graze in the fields!

He may call himself a Christian, and be
thought such by others, talk much about
Jesus Christ, hold a sound creed, maintain
a consistent profession, pray at a prayer
meeting with fluency and apparent feeling,
stand up in a pulpit and contend earnestly
for the doctrines of grace, excel hundreds
of God’s children in zeal, knowledge and

And yet, if this ray of supernatural light has
never shone into his soul, he is only twofold
more the child of hell than those who make
no profession!                           “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

How necessary is a lantern when we are walking in a dark night in an unknown and dangerous path!

We cannot walk safely in the devious paths of life, amidst the darkness of error and sin—without the lamp of God’s Word, lit by the Holy Spirit. How many have stumbled and fallen to their eternal ruin—by neglecting to take this lamp!

Beloved reader, have you taken the Word of God as a lamp unto your feet? Is the lamp lit, in answer to prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit—and are you walking in the light of it?

If so, it is well. You will see the dangers of the way on the right hand and on the left, and will be preserved from harm, notwithstanding the snares and pitfalls that lie in your course.

Walk on still in the light of God’s blessed Word—and so will you be brought in safety to that land where there is no night, and to that city that has no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it—for the glory of God does lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.   Author unknown

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