Bulletin Edition April 2023

  • Houses built on the sands of self-righteousness, works, and law will soon develop many faults. They are usually out-of-plumb or unbalanced.  They lean one way or the other: big on prophecy and little on grace—heavy on healing and silent on substitution—strong on sanctification and weak on justification! They develop cracks in their structure which make the dwellers uncomfortable in storms and cold weather. No false profession can provide peace or “rest” during trials. They need constant repair. These houses, having no foundation, always require a specialist to come in often and revive, rebuild, rededicate, and repair them. But unfortunately the owner is not too much disturbed by the condition of his sand house, for there are so many on the block just like his that he assumes that this terrible state is normal. He has never lived in a solid, scriptural house built on the rock Christ Jesus, so he doesn’t know the difference.

Scott Richardson

* The preaching of the gospel of Christ is the soul-saving ordinance. It is not through the eye but through the ear that salvation comes to men. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” In every age God has raised up men to faithfully proclaim his gospel of grace. Elijah ascends, but his mantle falls on Elisha. Paul dies not until Timothy is trained and on the field. The true preacher of his gospel has a claim on your attention. If God has sent him, men should and must hear him. He who preaches Christ crucified has life flowing from his lips. He who hears will find life flowing in his heart and soul. ”God hath chosen by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (Rom.10).

 Scott Richardson

All the heresies….

from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Self-Sufficiency Slain”

It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have
arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency
to ‘dishonor God and to flatter man’.

They have always had for their covert, if not for their open aim,
the exaltation of human nature, and the casting down of
the sovereignty of divine grace.

Robbing God of the glory which is due unto his name,
these false prophets would shed a counterfeit lustre
upon the head of the rebellious and depraved creature.

On the other hand, the doctrines of the gospel, commonly known
as the doctrines of grace, are distinguished for this peculiarity
above every other, namely, that they sink the creature very low,
and present the Lord Jehovah before us as sitting upon a throne,
high and lifted up.

So true is this, that the most uneducated Christian may,
even if he is incapable of refuting an erroneous discourse,
always be able to discover its untruthfulness,
if it glorifies man at the expense of God.

The merest babe in grace may carry this test with him:
in the midst of the diversities of opinion with which he is surrounded,
he may always judge, and judge infallibly too, of the truth or
falsehood of a doctrine by testing it thus–
“Does it glorify God?” If it is so, it is true.
“Does it exalt man?” Then it must be false.

Does it lay man very low, and speak of him in terms which tend to
make him feel his degradation? Then doubtless it is full of truth.

And does it put the crown upon the head of God, and not upon
the head of man’s free-will, or free-agency, or good works?
Then assuredly it is a doctrine according to godliness,
for it is the very truth of the Lord our God.

Why is it there is so much error in the Church of God?
(From Winslow’s, “Learning of Jesus”)

The only authoritative Teacher in the Church of
God, the only true Prophet, is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why is it there is so much darkness and crudeness
in the books we read, and in the sermons we hear?

Why is it that we see so much ignorance and
obscurity in setting forth the truth of God?

  Why is it there is so much
  error in the Church of God?

It is because men will not sit at the feet of
Jesus and learn of Him. Men would rather learn
of their fellow men than of the ‘God man’.

They prefer human writings to the Divine.

They prefer the school of man, to the school of God.

And this is one reason why there is so much
false doctrine, the teaching that causes to err,
both from the pulpit and from the press.

We may be carried away by great learning, brilliant
genius, and apparently profound piety; but if we
place ourselves at the feet of Jesus as a lowly
disciple, and there receive our views of truth, we
shall then understand those profound mysteries
of God’s revealed Word, which are hidden from
the worldly wise and prudent, but revealed to
those who become learners of Christ.

“Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and you shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29

Their religion is hollow, unsubstantial, and unreal
(Winslow, “Christ’s Intercession for Tried Faith”)

The most beautiful ritual,
the most accurate creed,
the most costly religion,
the most splendid profession,
without Christ in the heart,
is but as fuel preparing for the
final and eternal conflagration.

What, my reader, if your religion
should prove to be nothing but chaff?
Does the bare probability startle you?

Ah! there are multitudes whom it might well
startle; for multitudes are thus deceived.

Not a grain of saving grace is found in their souls.

There is….
  no vitality in their faith,
  no solidity in their profession,
  no substance in their religion.

Before every wind of false doctrine they bend, and
by each blast of temptation they are carried away.

The stubble of the field, and the chaff of the
threshing floor (fit emblems of their profession),
are not more unsubstantial and fleeting than it.

All is woeful deception!

They have substituted….
  a form of godliness for its power;
  union to the church for union to Christ;
  the baptism of water for the regeneration of the Spirit;
  gospel ordinances for sanctifying grace;
  works of benevolence for faith in the Lord Jesus.

And thus their religion is hollow, unsubstantial, and
unreal; possessing a “name to live, they are dead.”

And what will be the end of such?

Departing into eternity in this state of soul deception;
building their hope of heaven upon this false foundation;
in their sad experience must be realised the awful
description which the evangelist gives of the judgment
power of Christ; “whose fan is in his hand, and he will
thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into his
barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Thus will perish….
  all human religions,
  all false hopes,
  all hollow professions,
  all soul destroying doctrines;
the ‘wood, the hay, the stubble,’ of a
form of godliness, destitute of the power.

The god of modern religion
(The following is by Don Fortner)

“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that He did in heaven and in earth, and in the seas and all deep places.”  Psalm 135:6

The very foundation of our confidence
and faith in our God is his sovereignty.

Were he not sovereign, absolutely, universally
sovereign, we could not trust him implicitly,
believe his promises, or depend upon him to
fulfil his Word.

Only an absolute sovereign can be trusted absolutely.
We can and should trust our God implicitly because
he is sovereign.

Nothing is more delightful to the hearts of God’s children than the fact of his great and glorious sovereignty.

Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most
severe troubles, and when enduring the most heavy
trials, we rejoice to know that our God has sovereignly ordained our afflictions, that he sovereignly overrules them, and that he sovereignly sanctifies them to our good and his own glory.

The God of the Bible is utterly unknown in this religious generation. A God who is not sovereign is as much a contradiction as a God who is not holy, eternal, and immutable. A God who is not sovereign is no God at all.

If the god you worship is not totally sovereign, you are a pagan, and your religion is idolatry. You would be just as well off worshipping a statue of Mary, a totem pole, a spider, or the devil himself as to worship a god who lacks total sovereignty over all things.

The god of this generation no more resembles the
sovereign Lord of heaven and earth than a flickering
candle resembles the noon-day sun.

The god of modern religion is nothing but an idol,
the invention of men, a figment of man’s imagination.

Pagans in the dark ages used to carve their gods out
of wood and stone and overlay them with silver and gold.
Today, in these much darker days, pagans inside the church carve their god out of their own depraved imaginations.
In reality, the religionists of our day are atheists, for there is no possible alternative between a God who is absolutely sovereign and no God at all.

A god whose will can be resisted,
 whose purpose can be frustrated,
 whose power can be thwarted,
 whose grace can be nullified,
 whose work can be overturned,
    has no title to Deity.
Such a god is not a fit object of worship.
Such a puny, pigmy god merits nothing but contempt.

When I say that God is sovereign, I
am simply declaring that God is God.

He is the most High, Lord of heaven
and earth, overall, blessed forever.
He is subject to none.
He is influenced by none.

God is absolutely independent of, and sovereign over, all his creatures.

He does as he pleases,
only as he pleases,
and always as he pleases.

None can thwart him.
None can resist him.
None can change him.
None can stop him.
None can hinder him.

He declares, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” Isaiah 46:10

“All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing.
He doeth according to His will inn the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” Daniel 4:35

Divine sovereignty means that God sits upon the
throne of universal dominion, directing all things,
ruling all things, and “working all things after the
counsel of his own will”  (Ephes. 1:11).

God’s sovereignty is irrefutably revealed in
the eternal predestination of all things.
God chose certain men and women in eternity to
be the objects of his saving grace and predestinated
those elect ones to be conformed to the image of his
dear Son (Rom. 8:28-29). Before the world began God
sovereignly determined that he would save some, who
they would be, and when he would save them. Having
determined these things, our great God infallibly secured
his eternal purpose of grace by sovereign predestination.

Eternal election marked the house into which God’s
saving grace must come. Eternal predestination marked
the path upon which grace must come. And sovereign
providence led grace down the path to the house at
the appointed time of love.

God’s indisputable sovereignty is conspicuously revealed
in the salvation of sinners by his almighty grace (Rom. 9:8-24).
God chose to save some, but not all. He gave Christ to die for
some, but not all. He sends his gospel to some, but not all.
He gives his Spirit to some, but not all. He causes some to
hear his voice, but not all.
He planned it.
He purchased it.
He performs it.
He preserves it.
He perfects it.
He shall have all the praise for it.

“Our God is in heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Psalm 115:3

Let us, therefore–
believe him confidently,
walk with him in peace,
submit to him cheerfully,
serve him faithfully,
and honor him supremely.

Wrought with divine power!

(J.C. Philpot, “The Veil Taken Away” 1844)

” For our gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance.”
1 Thessalonians 1:5

Most men’s religion is nothing else but ‘a round of forms’ . . .
  some have their ‘doings’,
  some have their ‘doctrines’,
  and others have their ‘duties’.

And when the one has performed his doings, the other learned his doctrines, and the third discharged his duties—why, he is as good a Christian, he thinks, as anybody. While all the time, the poor deceived creature is thoroughly ignorant of the kingdom of God, which stands not in simply in word, but in power.

But as the veil of ignorance is taken off the heart, we begin to see and feel that there is a power in vital godliness, a reality in the teachings of the Spirit—that religion is not to be put on and put off as a man puts on and off his Sunday clothes.

Where vital godliness is wrought with divine power in a man’s heart, and preached by the Holy Spirit into his conscience it . . .
  mingles, daily and often hourly with his thoughts;
  entwines itself with his feelings; and
  becomes the very food and drink of his soul.

Now when a man comes to this spot: to see and feel what a reality there is in the things of God made manifest in the conscience by the power of the Holy Spirit—it effectually takes him out of dead churches, cuts him off from false ministers, winnows the chaff from the wheat, and brings him into close communion with the broken-hearted family of God.

“For our gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5

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