Bulletin Edition March 2024

So completely was Jesus bent upon saving sinners by the sacrifice of Himself; that He created the tree upon which He was to die, and nurtured from infancy, the men who were to nail Him to the accursed wood!                    

 ~Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)

May we sit at the foot of the cross and there learn… what sin has done, what justice has has, what love has done

John Newton

“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” Mt. 18:20

            Every time I read this verse I’m reminded of the glorious privilege of public worship. While many are satisfied to go through life seeking only the fleeting cares of this world, I’m thankful for every sinner, especially me, that desires to be found among the people of God…hearing the glorious Gospel proclaimed and being found where He has revealed Himself to be.

 Marvin Stalnaker. 

Everyone Can’t All Be Right

Some think that it does not matter what a man believes so long as he is sincere. The average person thinks that all religions are right. “You go to your church, and I’ll go to mine, you believe what you think is right and I’ll believe what I think is right, and we’ll meet in heaven someday and rejoice in our respective saviors.” No! my  friends, we cannot all be right when we contradict one another so. It is imperative that we search the Scriptures and see what God says. A doctrine is not true because I believe it or because you believe it, but it is true only if God says it! I do not ask whether you believe what I preach – perhaps you do not. But I ask you to search the Scriptures and determine whether these things be so. I am not afraid to submit my belief in God’s immutable sovereignty, man’s total fall and ruin, God’s elective grace, Christ’s effectual atonement, the Spirit’s invincible call, and the perseverance of the sheep to THE WORD OF

GOD!                                                                 Pastor John Chapman

The sword of Divine justice buried in His sinless heart

Henry Law

Holy Father,
We blush to lift up our eyes unto You, O God of all grace and love. Shame and confusion of face humble us to the very dust. Wherever You have been boundless in mercy—we have been abundant in sin! We cannot measure our ingratitude. We cannot estimate our vileness. Each day has added to our guilt. Each scene has witnessed our wicked hearts, our straying feet and our offending tongues. What is there in heaven or in earth, above, around, without, or within—which condemns us not? The sun condemns us, which has seen our misdeeds; the darkness, too, which hides nothing from Your all-penetrating eye!
The cruel accuser justly accuses us.
Your righteous law,
Your holy Word,
our sin-soiled consciences,
our public and our private hours
—write dark things against us! We make no denial. We frame no excuse. We confess, Father, that we have sinned against heaven and before You—and are not worthy to be called Your sons! But still we live!

We live to fly as contrite penitents to Your extended arms!
We know that You will not cast us off—for Jesus brings us near.
You will not condemn us—for Your dear Son died in our place.
You will not mark the mountains upon mountains of our sins—for the Savior has removed them all.
His precious blood has washed out every crimson stain!
Christ’s spotless robe of righteousness, covers all our deformities! We put it on by the hand of faith—and we rejoice that we are lovely in His precious loveliness, and beauteous in His matchless beauty.

Open widely the eyes of our faith, that we may see all our justly merited curse, expended on the faultless head of our precious sin-atoning Savior, and the sword of Divine justice buried in His sinless heart!

We come to You . . .
  clinging to His cross,
  sheltered by His side,
  hidden in His wounds,
  cleansed in His blood,
  covered by His spotless robe,
  beautified in His salvation!

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5

Octavius Winslow

Faith has to do with the understanding and the heart. A man must know his lost and ruined condition before he will accept of Christ; and how can he know this, without a spiritually enlightened mind? What a surprising change now passes over the man! He is brought, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, to a knowledge of himself. One beam of light, one touch of the Spirit, has altered all his views of himself, has placed him in a new aspect; all big thoughts, his affections, his desires, are diverted into another and an opposite channel; his fond views of his own righteousness have fled like a dream, his high thoughts are humbled, his lofty looks are brought low, and, as a broken-hearted sinner, he takes his place in the dust before God. Oh wondrous, oh blessed change! to see the Pharisee take the place, and to hear him utter the cry, of the Publican—”God be merciful to me a sinner!”—to hear him exclaim, “I am lost, self-ruined, deserving eternal wrath; and of sinners the vilest and the chief.” And now the work and exercise of faith commences; the same blessed Spirit that convinced of sin presents to the soul a Savior crucified for the lost—unfolds a salvation full and free for the most worthless—reveals a fountain that “cleanses from all sin,” and holds up to view a righteousness that “justifies from all things.” And all that He sets the poor convinced sinner upon doing to avail himself of this, is simply to believe. To the momentous question, “What shall I do to be saved?” this is the only reply—”Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” The anxious soul eagerly exclaims—”Have I then nothing to do but to believe?—have I no great work to accomplish, no price to bring, no worthiness to plead?—may I come just as I am, without merit, without self-preparation, without money, with all my vileness and nothingness?” Still the reply is, “Only believe.” “Then, Lord, I do believe,” exclaims the soul in a transport of joy; “help my unbelief.” This, reader, is faith—faith, that wondrous grace, that mighty act of which you have heard so much, upon which so many volumes have been written, and so many sermons have been preached; it is the simple rolling of a wounded, bleeding heart upon a wounded, bleeding Savior; it is the simple reception of the amazing truth, that Jesus died for the ungodly—died for sinners—died for the poor, the vile, the bankrupt; that He invites and welcomes to His bosom all poor, convinced, heavy-laden sinners. The heart, believing this wondrous announcement, going out of all other dependencies and resting only in this—receiving it, welcoming it, rejoicing in it, in a moment, all, all is peace. Do not forget, reader, that faith is but to believe with all the heart that Jesus died for sinners; and the full belief of this one fact will bring peace to the most anxious and sin-troubled soul.

Have I then no work to work in this great matter of my pardon? None! What work can you work? What work of yours can buy Divine forgiveness—or make you fit for the Divine favour? What work has God bidden you work in order to obtain salvation? None. His Word is very plain and easy to be understood, “To him who works not—but believes in Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). There is but one work by which a man can be saved. That work is not yours—but the work of the Son of God. That work is finished.

Horatius Boner

Oh, what a glorious truth is this!


“You are altogether beautiful, my love — there is no flaw in you!” Song of Songs 4:7

Although a poor tried child of God may feel the force of his inbred sin and have to continually struggle with it — and though he may, from day to day, be conscious of his many imperfections — yet before those eyes which see everything, there is no flaw to be seen upon the believer in Christ. I mean no flaw in this respect — that he can never be condemned or punished for his sin. His sin is finally and fully and forever pardoned!

Oh, what a glorious truth is this!

“Except Your Righteousness Shall Exceed The

Righteousness Of The Scribes And Pharisees”

Matt. 5:20

Don Fortner

The scribes and pharisees were the most righteous men, outwardly, who ever lived. They lived by the ten commandments. According to the letter of the law, they were blameless. They paid tithes of all they possessed, fasted twice a week, and prayed three times a day. Yet, our Lord tells us that we must be more righteous than them, or we “shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The fact is that without perfect righteousness no one can ever enter into heaven (Rev. 21:27; 22:11-14). The righteousness required by God is a perfect righteousness, a righteousness which no mere man can produce. In order to enter that perfect kingdom we must be made perfectly righteous by the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 5:19; II Cor. 5:21). All who believe are made the righteousness of God in Christ by two distinct acts of grace.

l.  The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us in justification (Rom. 4:3-8). Our sin was imputed to Christ at Calvary. Though he never committed sin, he was made to be sin, and became responsible under the law for our sins, as our Substitute. In exactly the same way, the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us, though we never have performed a righteous deed. Just as the law punished Christ for our sin, which was legally imputed to him, the law of God rewards every believer for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.

2.  The righteousness of Christ is imparted to us in regeneration (II Pet. 1:2-4; I John 3:4-9). “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). If I am born again by the Spirit of God, I have a new nature created in my soul, a righteous nature is imparted to me, by which I reign as a king over the lusts and passions of my flesh. Yes, God’s people do sin. Sin is mixed with all we do, so long as we live in this body of flesh. But sin no longer reigns over us. We are no longer under the dominion of sin (Rom. 6:14-16; Gal. 5:22-23). The believer’s life is a life of faith, godliness and uprightness.

“And Be Found In Him”

Pilippians 3:9

What man, except the God-man, was more exemplary in self-denial and devotion than the Apostle Paul? Who ever had such rich experiences of grace as him? Who was more gifted and manifestly useful? He was once caught up to the third heaven and saw things no human language can describe. He laboured more abundantly than all the other apostles. Still, his heart’s desire was that he might win Christ and be found in him, with no righteousness of his own, but only the righteousness of God in Christ.

He renounced as dung all imaginary inherent righteousness and all his own works of righteousness, in which every Pharisee and legalists clings. He was a man who had experienced grace abundant. Yet, the grace he experienced was not to him a basis of confidence before God. He was a man obedient to the will of God, whose life was marked by that “faith which worketh by love.” Still, nothing he had done was looked to, relied upon, or trusted by him in any measure. He desired never to stand at the bar of God with any of those things, but only in the righteousness of God in Christ.

God the Holy Spirit gave him precious faith in a precious Savior. Therefore, he looked out of himself, out of all that was wrought in him and done by him. He passed it all by and looked through it all to Christ alone. He renounced all personal worth, merit, and righteousness before God, hoping only to be found in Christ. He put the matter of his eternal life and salvation upon being found in Christ, being found only in his infinitely perfect and glorious righteousness.

The law and justice of God, once revealed, pursued Paul as a manslayer to Christ as a city of refuge. He desired to be found in the City of Refuge. This man knew that Christ’s perfect obedience unto death, and that alone, entitles redeemed sinners to heaven and makes us “worthy to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

From Paul’s desire we learn that the singular Object of faith for a sinner, convinced of sin and righteousness and judgment by the Spirit of God, is Christ. The object of our faith is not what we are, or what we have experienced, or what we have done; but what Christ is, what he experienced, and what he has done. The only Object of faith, wholly and exclusively, is the person and work of the Son of God. If we have the faith of God’s elect, we rest the hope of our souls only upon Christ, and desire to be found in him in life, in death, and at the judgment.

Does this mean that the grace we experience and the works we are enabled of God to perform are nothing? Of course not! They are nothing in the point of our justification before God. Yet, the grace we experience, giving us life and faith in Christ, is the fruit and evidence of our redemption, righteousness, and justification by Christ. The works others see done by us are evidences to them that our faith is real and that our claim to Christ is genuine.

These things do not justify (or even sanctify) us before God. Yet, they do justify our professed faith in Christ and clear the gospel of the grace of God from the legalists’ slanderous charge of licentiousness. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

Don Fortner

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