Bulletin Edition December 2023

Christ – God’s Salvation

Luke 2:30

Our only hope of salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is in him alone, in him completely, and in him only. In fact, he is God’s salvation (Lk. 2:30). We cannot be saved without him; and we cannot be saved if we try to mix our own works, feelings, emotions, or experiences with faith in him. The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save us from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, and all the consequences of sin (Heb. 7:25). He is all-sufficient.

His name is called “Jesus”, because “he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). He is the only one who has power in himself to forgive sin (Matt. 9:6). He is exalted “to give repentance and remission of sins” (Lk. 24:47; Acts 5:31). The Lord God found a ransom for sinners in his own dear Son (Job 33:24), and purposed to save his people by the sacrificial death of his Son as their Substitute from eternity (Acts 2:23). In the fullness of time, the Son of God became a man to accomplish the salvation of chosen sinners (Gal. 4:4-5). “Being found in fashion as a man, he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). Thus, by the sacrifice of himself according to the will of God, the Lord Jesus Christ put away all the sins of his people, obtained eternal redemption for them, and established the only grounds upon which God can be both just and the Justifier of all who believe (Heb. 1:3; 9:12, 26; 10:1-14; Rom. 3:24-26).

There is no other possible way of salvation. God’s own beloved Son would never have been crucified to redeem and save us if salvation could have been obtained in any other way. Indeed, the apostle Paul reasons that if we could have been saved in some other way “then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21). Infinite wisdom found a way to save us. Infinite grace provided the great sacrifice. Infinite love brought the Son of God to lay down his life for his people. Why? Because there was no other way for God to both satisfy his justice in the punishment of sin and forgive his people of all their sins. Christ alone must be our Savior. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The only way you can obtain God’s salvation is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you believe on Christ, you may be confident that your sins are forgiven by his blood and that God looks upon you as being perfectly righteous, because God appointed this way of salvation; and he has promised to save all who trust his dear Son (Rom. 10:9-13). Indeed, if you now trust the Son of God, it is because you are already born of God and have everlasting life (John 3:36). If you are yet without faith in Christ, the wrath of God abides upon you. May God grant you life and faith in his dear Son, according to the exceeding riches of his grace to perishing sinners, for Christ’s sake.

Don Fortner

“He Shall Be Great”

Luke 1:32

When the angel of God announced to Mary that she had been chosen and favoured of God to be the woman through whose womb the Son of God would come into the world, he said, “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his Father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” The angel’s prophecy has come to pass. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, truly is great.

In His Person

Christ is great in his magnificent person. Here is God and man in one person, fully God and fully man, yet completely one! There is none like him. He is the great God, the great Man, the great King, the great Mediator between God and man, our Great High Priest, and our great Savior. God took man into union with himself in Christ, because there was no other way for God to save us from our sins. God could not suffer, and man could not satisfy; but the God-man both suffered and satisfied all that was required for the salvation of God’s elect.

In His Propitiation

Our blessed Savior is great in his propitiation. Having brought in an everlasting righteousness for us, the Son of God suffered the wrath of God as our Substitute. When he was made to be sin, God drew forth the sword of his justice and buried it in his Son! Now, there is no wrath left in God to be propitiated for us. He says, “Fury is not in me!” Having punished our sins to the full satisfaction of justice for us, God will never charge his elect with sin (Rom. 4:8; 8:1, 34; 1 John 2:12).

In His Pre-eminence

 Our mighty Redeemer is great in his pre-eminence. God has made his Son to be Head over all things and has given him pre-eminence over all things. Christ has all power, all dominion, all authority, and all honour. He is to have all the praise of all his people for all things. The Lamb upon the throne is worthy of praise from all who are about the throne. The triune God has so arranged the affairs of the universe that Christ shall be praised forever by all things. All creation shall praise him as Creator (Rev. 4:11). All rational creatures shall praise him as their rightful Lord (Phil. 2:9-11). All angels and men, both righteous and wicked, shall render praise to Christ the Judge in the last day (Acts 17:31). And all God’s elect shall praise Christ alone for the whole of their salvation forever (1 Cor. 1:30-31). Yes, Jesus Christ is the great God and our great Savior.

Oh! Wonder of wonders!

(Charles Spurgeon, “His Name, Wonderful”)    

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government will be upon His shoulder:and His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!” Isaiah 9:6

Oh! what is that I see?

Oh! world of wonders—what is that I see?

The Eternal of ages, whose hair is white like wool, as white as snow—becomes an infant!

Can it be?

You angels, are you not astonished?

He becomes an infant, hangs at a virgin’s bosom, and draws his nourishment from the woman!

Oh! Wonder of wonders!

Manger of Bethlehem, you have miracles poured into you.

This is a sight which surpasses all others!

Talk of the sun, moon, and stars; consider the heavens, the work of God s fingers, the moon and the stars that He has ordained—but all the wonders of the universe shrink into nothing, when we come to the mystery of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ!

I do believe that the very angels have never wondered but once, and that has been incessantly ever since they first beheld it! They never cease to tell the astonishing story, and to tell it with increasing astonishment too—that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born of a Virgin, and became a man!

Is He not rightly called Wonderful?

Infinite—and an infant!

Eternal—and yet born of a woman!

Almighty—and yet hanging on a woman’s bosom!

Supporting the universe—and yet needing to be carried in a mother s arms!

King of angels—and yet the carpenter’s despised son!


(Octavius Winslow

What is our path to glory, but the path of tribulation, of suffering, and of death? Our Lord and Master, in the expression of His wisdom and love, forewarns us of this: “In the world you shall have tribulation.”

What are all the supports of the believer in seasons of trial, suffering, and bereavement—but so many manifestations of the life of the Lord Jesus? This it is that keeps the soul . . .
  buoyant amid the billows,
  strong in faith,
  joyful in hope,
  soaring in love!

Thus is Jesus . . .
  the life of every grace,
  the life of every promise,
  the life of every ordinance,
  the life of every blessing.

Yes, of all that is really costly and precious to a child of God, Jesus is . . .
  the substance,
  the glory,
  the sweetness,
  the fragrance,
  yes, the very life itself!

Oh! dark and lonely, desolate and painful indeed, would our present pilgrimage be—but for Jesus!

If in the world we have tribulation; in whom do we have peace?
In Jesus!

If in the creature we meet with fickleness and change; in whom do we find the Friend who loves at all times?
In Jesus!

When adversity comes as a wintry blast, and lays low our comforts,
when the cloud is upon our tabernacle,
when health, and wealth, and influence, and friends are gone;
in whom do we find the covert from the wind; the faithful, tender Brother born for adversity?
In Jesus!

When temptation assails,
when care darkens,
when trial oppresses,
when bereavement wounds,
when heart and flesh are failing;
  who throws around us the protecting shield,
  who applies the precious promise,
  who speaks the soothing word,
  who sustains the sinking spirit,
  who heals the sorrow,
  who dries the tear?

Where sin struggles in the heart,
and guilt burdens the conscience,
and unbelief beclouds the mind;
  whose grace subdues our iniquities,
  whose blood gives us peace,
  and whose light dispels our darkness?

And when the spark of life wanes,
and the eye grows dim,
and the mind wanders,
and the soul, severing its last fetter, mounts and soars away;
Jesus, in that solemn moment—draws near in form unseen, and whispers in words unheard by all but the departing one, now in close communion with the solemn realities of the invisible world, “Fear not! I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies!”

It is utterly impossible!

(Octavius Winslow, 1852)

It has been the distinctive aim, and the sincere desire of my ministry—to make known and to endear the Saviour to your hearts. 

Oh, how worthy is He . . .
  of your most exalted conceptions,
  of your most implicit confidence,
  of your most self-denying service,
  of your most fervent love!

When He could give you no more, and the fathomless depths of His love and the boundless resources of His grace would not be satisfied by giving you less—He gave you Himself! 

Robed in your nature,
laden with your curse,
oppressed with your sorrows,
wounded for your transgressions,
and slain for your sins—
He gave His entire self for you! 

His redeeming work now finished, He is perpetually engaged in meting out blessings to His people from the exhaustless treasures of His love! He constantly woos your affection, invites your grief, and bids you flee with your daily trials to His sympathy; and with your hourly guilt to His blood. You cannot be too covetous in your drafts upon Christ’s fullness! Nor can you be too extravagant in your expectations of supply! You may fail, as, alas! the most of us do, in making too little of Christ—but you cannot fail in making too much of Him!

It is utterly impossible
 to know Christ, and not become inspired with a desire . . .
  to love Him supremely,
  to serve Him devotedly,
  to resemble Him closely,
  to glorify Him faithfully here,
  and to enjoy Him fully hereafter!

The one, precious, all absorbing theme!

(Octavius Winslow, “The Precious Things of God“)

The Word of God must ever be transcendently precious to the believer. The Bible is, from its commencement to its close, a record of the Lord Jesus. Around Him the divine and glorious Word centers; all its wondrous types, prophecies and facts gather.
  His Promise and Foreshadowing,
  His holy Incarnation, Nativity and Baptism,
  His Obedience and Passion,
  His Death, Burial and Resurrection,
  His Ascension to Heaven,
  His Second coming to judge the world—
are the grand and touching,
the sublime and tender,
the priceless and precious
truths interwoven with the whole texture of the Bible, to which the Two Witnesses of Revelation, the Old and the New Testaments bear their harmonious and solemn testimony.

Beloved, let this be the one and chief object in your study of the Bible—the knowledge of Jesus!

The Bible is not a history, a book of science or a poem—it is a record of Christ. Study it to know more of Him—His nature, His love, His work. With the magnanimous Paul, “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord.” Then will God’s Word become increasingly precious to your soul, and its truths unfold.

In every page you will:
  trace the history of Jesus,
  see the glory of Jesus,
  admire the work of Jesus,
  learn the love of Jesus, and
  hear the voice of Jesus!

The whole volume will be redolent of His name, and luminous with His beauty!

Oh, what is the Bible to us apart from its revelation of a Saviour!

Is there not great danger . . .
  of studying it merely intellectually and scientifically,
  of revelling among its literary beauties and its grandeur
—blind to its true value, and without any desire to know . . .
that precious Saviour who died for sinners,
that Divine Redeemer who purchased the ransom of His Church with His own blood;
that Friend who loves us;
that Brother who sympathises with us,
that enthroned High Priest who intercedes for us within the veil?

Do we study the “Word of Christ” spiritually and honestly—as those whose souls hunger and thirst for this, the bread and water of life?

Do we search it diligently and earnestly as for hidden treasure—treasure beyond all price?

Can we say with David, “O how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day!”

Do we:
  read it with a child-like mind,
  receive it with a believing heart,
  bow to its teaching with reverence of soul, and
  receive its decisions in all questions of faith and practice as decisive and ultimate?
In a word, do we search the Scriptures humbly, prayerfully, depending upon the guidance of the Spirit—to find Jesus in them?

Of these Scriptures He is . . .
  the Alpha and the Omega,
  the substance,
  the sweetness,
  the glory,
  the one, precious, all absorbing theme! 

Yes, Lord! Your word is precious to our souls, because it reveals to us Your glory, and tells us of Your love!

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