Bulletin Edition January 2024

A religion that satisfies thousands

(Philpot, “The Cry of Jonah out of the Belly of Hell“)

“Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
     2 Tim. 3:5

Much that passes for religion,
is not true religion at all.

Much that goes for hopes of salvation,
is nothing but lying refuges.

Much is palmed off for the teaching of the Spirit,
which is nothing but delusion.

Vital godliness is very rare.

There are very few people spiritually taught of God.

There are very few ministers who really preach the truth.

Satan is thus daily deceiving thousands, and tens of thousands.

A living soul, however weak and feeble in himself,
cannot take up with a religion in the flesh.

He cannot rest on the opinions of men, nor be
deceived by Satan’s delusions. He has a secret
gnawing of conscience, which makes him dissatisfied
with a religion that satisfies thousands.

Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

(author unknown) 

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power!” Colossians 2:9-10

One of the great tenets of Scripture, is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness! 2 Peter 1:3-4

He is sufficient for:
  Creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
  Salvation (Hebrews 10:10-12)
  Sanctification (Ephesians 5:26-27)
  and Glorification (Romans 8:30).

So pure is He, that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection in Him! (1 Peter 1:18-20)

So complete is He, that . . .
  there is no other God besides Him (Isaiah 45:5)
  He is the only begotten Son (John 1:14, John 1:18)
  all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Colossians 2:3)
  the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians 2:9)
  He is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2)
  He created all things—and all things were made by Him,
      through Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
  He upholds all things by the word of His power (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
  He is the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)
  He is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).

He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 1:17-18)
He is the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29)
He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14)
He is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1)
He is our life (Colossians 3:4)
He is the living and true Way (John 14:6)
He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11)
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)
He is Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10) 
He is the Elect One (Isaiah 42:1)
He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1)
He is the Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11)
He is the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:17)
He is the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14)
He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)
He is the Light of the world (John 9:5)
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20:28)
He is the true Vine (John 15:5)
He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48)
He is the Door to Heaven (John 10:7)
He is the Sovereign Lord (Philippians 2:10-13)
He is Prophet, Priest and King (Hebrews 1:1-3)
He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9)
He is our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God,
    the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
He is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
He is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
He is the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2)
He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13)
He is the Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26)
He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and
He is the great I AM! (John 8:58)

“Partakers of the Divine Nature”

2 Peter 1:4

As all men were created in and simultaneously with the first Adam, all God’s elect were created new and simultaneously with the last Adam, Christ. As we had being in Adam from the beginning of creation, all God’s elect have had being with Christ from eternity. Being born of Adam in natural generation, we necessarily partake of Adam’s nature. And being “born of God” in regeneration, we are made “partakers of the divine nature.” As the seed of the first Adam partake of his nature, the seed of the last Adam partake of his nature.

Two Natures at War

The children of the first Adam are born of the flesh and are earthy in all their thoughts, feelings, and affections. The children of the last Adam are born of the Spirit and are spiritual and heavenly in all their thoughts, feelings, and affections. The children of the first Adam are born for the earth. The children of the last Adam are born for heaven.

            These two men, the old and the new, Adam and Christ, flesh and spirit, dwell in every child of God in this world; but they do not dwell together. They are in a state of perpetual warfare (Romans 7:14; Galatians 5:16-25). The flesh, the old man, is altogether sinful and corrupt. It can do nothing but sin. The spirit, the new man, that which is born of God, is altogether righteousness and cannot sin (1 John 3:5-10).

Ruined in Adam

Our existence in Adam was a representative existence, yes; but it was more. It was a real, vital existence. We had being in our father Adam from the beginning, being created in him and with him. Our union with him in the Garden was real. When he sinned, we sinned in him. When he died, we died in him. It is not merely that we were reckoned to have sinned and reckoned to have died. — We sinned in Adam and we died in Adam, because we were one with Adam from the beginning.

Made Fit in Christ

Now, here’s the good news. — Our existence in Christ from the beginning, before the foundation of the world, our eternal union with Christ, was and is a real, vital existence with the God-man, our Mediator, Surety, and Savior. When he stood forth as our Surety before time began and was accepted of God as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), we were accepted in him and blessed with all spiritual blessings in him (Ephesians 1:3-6).

            Yet, before we could enter heaven as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, something more must be done. Justice satisfied does not make anyone fit for heaven. Righteousness imputed does not make the ransomed sinner worthy of heavenly glory. It is only when redeemed sinners are made “partakers of the divine nature” in the new birth that the righteousness of Christ is imparted to them and they are, by the grace and gracious operations of God, made “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12). The imputed righteousness of Christ in redemption makes us worthy of heaven. The imparted righteousness of Christ in regeneration makes us fit for heaven.

Don Fortner

Happy here, and happy to all eternity!

(Octavius Winslow, “The Christian’s Joint Heirship”)

It is in the heart of our God to give us the chief and the best.

Had there been a greater, and a better, and a sweeter,
and a more satisfying portion than Himself–then that
portion would have been ours. But since there is not, nor
can be, a greater than Himself–the love, the everlasting,
changeless love that He bears to us, constrains Him to
give Himself as our God, our Portion, our All.

And have we not experienced Him to be God all-sufficient?

Have we ever found a lack in Him?

Oh no! God is all-sufficient, and no arid wilderness,
and no dreary land have we experienced Him to be.

There is in Him . . .
  an all sufficiency of love to comfort us;
  an all sufficiency of strength to uphold us;
  an all sufficiency of power to protect us;
  an all sufficiency of good to satisfy us;
  an all sufficiency of wisdom to guide us;
  an all sufficiency of glory to reward us;
  and an all sufficiency of bliss to make us
happy here, and happy to all eternity!

The only effectual means for reforming mankind

(Letters of John Newton)

The Gospel of Christ, the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, is the only effectual means for reforming mankind.

To the man who possesses and knows the use of this grand, this wonderful machine, if I may be allowed the comparison–what is otherwise impossible becomes easy.

The Gospel removes difficulties insurmountable to human power.
It causes the blind to see,
it causes the deaf to hear;
it softens the heart of stone, and
raises the dead in trespasses and sins, to a life of righteousness.

No force but that of the Gospel is sufficient . . .
  to remove the mountainous load of guilt from an awakened conscience,
  to calm the violence of tumultuous passions,
  to raise an earthly soul from groveling in the mire of sensuality or avarice–to a spiritual and divine life, a life of communion with God.

No system but the Gospel can communicate motives, encouragements, and prospects–sufficient to withstand and counteract all the snares and temptations with which the spirit of this world, by its frowns or its smiles, will endeavor either to intimidate or to bribe us from the path of duty.

But the Gospel, rightly understood and cordially embraced, will inspire the slothful with energy and the fearful with courage. It will . . .
  make the miser generous,
  melt the grouch into kindness,
  tame the raging tiger in the bosom, and,
  in a word, expand the narrow selfish heart and fill it with a spirit of love to God, cheerful unreserved obedience to His will, and benevolence to mankind.

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