Bulletin Edition January 2024

The best and the only sufficient expositors of Scripture

John Newton

“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13

Psalm 25:14, “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will shew then His covenant” — not notionally, but experimentally.

A few minutes of the Spirit’s teaching will furnish us with more real, useful and experimental knowledge — than toiling through whole folios of commentators! It will be our wisdom to deal less with the streams — and be more close in applying to the fountain-head. The Scripture itself, and the Spirit of God — are the best and the only sufficient expositors of Scripture. Whatever men have valuable in their writings — they got it from Scripture; and the Scripture is as open to us — as to any of them. There is nothing required but a teachable, humble spirit; and academic learning, as it is commonly called, is not necessary in order for this.

We learn more, and more effectually, by one minute’s communication with God through the medium of His written Word, than we could from an assembly of theologians, or a library of books!

“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law!” Psalm 119:18

“Teach me Thy statutes!” Psalm 119:12

All-sufficient salvation!

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,

Christ’s salvation is an all-sufficient salvation!

However great your sins, Christ’s
blood can take them all away.

However deep your needs, Christ can supply them.

You cannot be so big a sinner as he is a Savior.
You may be the worst sinner out of hell, but your
sins are not too great for him to remove.
He can carry elephantine sinners upon his shoulders,
and bear gigantic mountains of guilt upon his head
into the wilderness of forgetfulness.

He has enough grace for you however deep your necessity.

Your biggest sins shall no longer trouble you, your
blackest iniquities shall no longer haunt you.

Believing in Jesus, every sin you have of thought
and word and deed shall be cast into the depths
of the sea and never shall he mentioned against
you any more for ever!

“I Am Ready To Go With Thee”   

Luke 22:33

     Without question, Peter’s words expressed much pride and self-confidence. And the Lord knew how to humble him! But these words also expressed the true devotion of his heart. And he proved it. In the end Peter went with his Lord both to prison and to death! Are we ready to go with our Master? A disciple is ready to go with his Master wherever his Master is pleased to lead. He weighs neither cost nor consequence, only his Master’s will.

Don Fortner

“Thou Knowest”

John 21:17

When the Lord asked his fallen servant, Peter, “Lovest thou me?” Peter replied with these words of confident, comforting faith – “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love the.e” Knowing his terrible sin, his miserable failure, and knowing that none of his brethren could see beyond his actions, the fallen saint took refuge in his Saviour’s perfect knowledge of him. He was saying, Lord, you see beyond what I am by nature. You see beyond my sin. You see me as I really am by your grace. In spite of what I am, in spite of the evil I have done, “Thou knowest that I love thee.”

Don Fortner

John Newton’s tombstone

In his old age, when he could no longer see to read, John Newton, the author of “Amazing Grace” heard someone recite this verse, “By the grace of God–I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:10. He remained silent a short time, and then said:

I am not what I ought to be. Ah! how imperfect and deficient.
I am not what I might be, considering my privileges and opportunities.
I am not what I wish to be. God, who knows my heart–knows I wish to be like Him.
I am not what I hope to be. Before long, I will drop this clay tabernacle, to be like Him and see Him as He is!
Yet, I am not what I once was–a child of sin, and slave of the devil!
Though not all these–not what I ought to be, not what I might be, not what I wish or hope to be, and not what I once was–I think I can truly say with the apostle, “By the grace of God–I am what I am!”

At the age of 82, Newtonsaid, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner–and that Christ is a great Savior!”

John Newton’s tombstone reads: “John Newton, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy!”

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

Restraining Grace

John MacDuff

“Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat:
 But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Luke 22:31, 32

What a scene does this unfold!
Satan tempting—Jesus praying!
Satan sifting—Jesus pleading!
“The strong man assailing”—”the stronger than the strong” beating him back!

Believer! here is the past history and present secret of your safetyin the midst of temptation! An interceding Savior was at your side, saying to every threatening wave, “Thus far shall you go—and no farther!” God often permits His people to be on the very verge of the precipice, to remind them of their own weakness; but never farther than the brink! The restraining hand and grace of Omnipotence is ready to rescue them, “Although he stumbles—yet he shall not be utterly cast down.” And why? “For the Lord upholds him with His right hand!”

The wolf may be prowling for his prey; but what can he do, when the almighty Shepherd is always there, tending with the watchful eye that “neither slumbers nor sleeps!”

Who cannot subscribe to the testimony, “When my foot slipped, Your mercy, O Lord, held me up!” Who can look back on his past pilgrimage, and fail to see it crowded with Ebenezers, with this inscription: “You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling!” My soul, where would you have been this day—had you not been “kept” by the power of God?

“Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117

The most holy and blessed life upon earth!
(Octavius Winslow, “Nourishment for the Journey”)

Be satisfied, dear reader, to live by faith, and
not by sight. You have a full Christ to draw from,
and a faithful God to look to. You have a covenant
ordered in all things and sure; and the precious
promise, “As your days, so shall your strength be,”
to lean confidently upon all your journey through.

Be content, then, to be poor and dependent.
Be willing to travel on ’empty handed’, seeing
God’s heart opened, and Christ’s hand outstretched
to supply your ‘daily bread.’

Oh, it is sweet to be a dependent creature upon God;
to hang upon a loving Father; to live as a poor, needy
sinner day by day, moment by moment, upon Jesus;
to trace God’s hand in ten thousand ways; to mark
His wisdom here, His condescension there; now His
love, and then His faithfulness, all combining and
exerted for our good.

Truly it is the most holy and blessed life upon earth!

God purposed the salvation of each one of His elect (chosen people) that will be redeemed by Jesus Christ, through His own blood and death as our Substitute for satisfaction to God’s justice. If you become a believing Christian, it will be that God brought it about in you by His working and not your free-will. In Ephesians 1:5-6 we read, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” In Phillipians 2:13, we read, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” There is no way flesh and good works can bring about one’s salvation. Salvation is of the LORD, it must be brought by God’s grace toward the sinner.

 Pastor Willy Mapote, Salima, Africa

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Thank God for that precious name! Out of love, respect, and reverence, God’s people refer to their Savior as the Lord Jesus Christ. “Lord” because He is God; “Jesus” because He is Man; and “Christ” because He is the only mediator between the two. The fact that His name was called “Jesus” means, the eternal God humbled Himself, and took upon Himself the nature of His sinful people, and bore their sins, and bore the law of commandments against them, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. And in doing so, He accomplished the work of saving every single one of His people from their sins. Yes, we thank God for that precious name! “There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.” “Precious name, O how sweet”; it is the “hope of earth and joy of heaven!”                                           Pastor Gabe Stalnaker

In the parable of the prodigal son, as told by our Lord, there are two lost sons, not just one! The prodigal was a flagrantly wicked, ungrateful, reckless run-away, lost through hot passion and wild living. He asked for his inheritance from his father because he didn’t want to wait for it. The other son was morally obedient and well-pleased with himself, even to the point of boasting of his works and obedience to his father. Yet he was as truly spiritually dead and lost as his wayward brother. While the younger son’s sinful nature took him down the path of lust and drunkenness to the hog-pen, the evil nature of the elder son led him to walk in pride, self-righteousness, and envy to the temple of the Pharisees to worship the god of human merit and free-will. How base and ungodly both of these sons! Which is in the most danger of eternal condemnation? Which will most likely repent and sue for mercy? Neither, if left to themselves; but we observe which of the lost sons God was pleased to save!

                                                      Pastor Henry Mahan, 1999    

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