Bulletin Edition April 2024

“Herein is Our Love made Perfect”

1 John 4:17

Herein is our love made perfect.” Those words, as suggested by our translators in the margin of our Bible, might be better translated, “Herein is his love with us made perfect.”

      John is not talking about us loving God perfectly or loving one another perfectly. Our love is anything but perfect love. John is talking to us about the knowledge and revelation of God’s perfect love for us in Christ in the sweet experience of his saving grace. He is here describing the “grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

      God’s love toward us, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost in the saving revelation of Christ, is made perfect in us when we are made to see and experience and enjoy the fulness, completion, and perfection of our salvation in Christ.

      God’s love is made perfect in us (1 John 4:12), it is brought to its end and fulfilment, when it is made known in us, when we are born of God and given faith in Christ. Then it is that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” (Romans 5:1-5).

Don Fortner


To God’s elected sinners, saved by grace alone, the Lord Jesus Christ 

is always revealed as; the Sun that calls them from darkness into His 

glorious light, the Fountain that washes them clean before His throne, 

the Bread that satisfies their hunger, their singular source of Life, their 

Peace with God, their justification before His Holy throne, and all their 

Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption.

If I have not seen Christ Jesus as all of these, I have not been made 

to see Him at all. For truly God makes Christ “all in all” to His sheep. Caleb Hickman 

If salvation depends upon our being or doing anything, we shall inevitably be lost. 

Thank God, it does not; for the great fundamental principle of the gospel is that Christ is all: man is nothing. 

It is not a mixture of Christ and man—it is all of Christ. 

The peace of the gospel does not rest in part on Christ’s work and in part on man’s work; it rests wholly on Christ’s work, because that work is perfect, perfect forever; and it renders all who put their trust in Him as perfect as Himself! Christ must either be a whole Savior or no Savior at all. 

The moment a man says, “Except you be this or that, you cannot be saved,” he totally subverts the gospel; for in the gospel I find Christ coming down to me, just as I am–a lost, guilty, self-destroyed sinner; and coming, moreover, with a full remission of all my sins, and a full salvation from my lost estate, all perfectly wrought by Himself on the cross. 

C. H. Mackintosh  

“WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US”.              I John 4:19

            We may differ on many points. But in this one thing every true child of God is like every other child of God-“We love him”. We do not love him as we desire. We do not love him as we know we should. We do not love him as we soon shall. But we do really love him. It is not possible for a man to experience the grace of God in salvation and not love the God of all grace. It is not possible for a man to know the efficacy of Christ’s blood in his own soul and not love his gracious Redeemer. It is not possible for a man to have his heart renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit and not love the Spirit of life. In spite of our many weaknesses, sins, and failures, we do honestly and sincerely confess, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.”

We know also that we would never have loved him if he had not loved us first. The love of God for us precedes our love for him. “He first loved us.” He loved us before we had any desire to be loved by him. He loved us before we sought his grace. He loved us before we had any repentance or faith. He loved us before we had any being. He loved us eternally. Does he not say, I have loved the with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I called thee”? He chose us, redeemed us, and called us because he loved us.

Not only does God’s love for us precede our love for God, but God’s love for us is the cause of our love for him. “We love him, because he first loved us.” This heart of mine was so hard, this will was so stubborn, that I would never have loved the Lord, if he had not intervened to conquer me with his love. In the midst of my sin and corruption, he passed by, and behold it was “the time of love”. He revealed his great love for me in Christ. Beholding the crucified Christ, dying in the place of sinners, the love of God conquered this rebel’s heart. Trusting Christ as my only Savior, I am compelled to love him, because he first loved me. And now I know that whatever I am, by the grace of God, I am because he loved me. Tell me, my brother, Is it not so with you?

Don Fortner

Eternal love!

-Spurgeon’s sermon, “Good Cheer for Christmas”

Every child of God is the object of eternal love
love without beginning and without end.
This is one of the fat things full of marrow.

Is it so, that I, a believer in Jesus, unworthy as I am,
am the object of the eternal love of God?

What transport lies in that thought!

Long before the Lord began to create the world, he had
thought of me.
Long before Adam fell or Christ was born,
and the angels sung their first choral over Bethlehem’s
miracle, the eye and the heart of God were towards his
elect people.

He never began to love them, they were always
“a people near unto him.”
Is it not so written-“I have loved you with an everlasting
love, therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn you”?
The ocean of Divine love!
(by Octavius Winslow)

The love of God to His people was as eternal
as the eternity of His being, as everlasting as
His uncreated nature. “I have loved you with
an everlasting love.” It panted, it yearned for
an outlet. It sought and found it in Christ.

Nowhere in the heavens above, or in the
earth beneath, or in the waters under the
earth; no star, no flower, no creature, so
reveals, expresses, and embodies the love
of God as the gift of His dear Son to die
for our sins!

Oh, what love is this!

“God so loved the world!”

So loved, that He gave Jesus!

Jesus is the most precious exponent of God’s
love: Jesus descends from the bosom of His
love; Jesus draws aside the veil of His love;
Jesus is God’s love expressed, God’s love
incarnate, God’s love speaking, laboring,
dying, redeeming! Beyond this it would
seem impossible that love could go.

Jesus is the channel through which the ocean
of Divine love
 washed the shores of this earth,
its soul healing waves spreading like a sea of
life over our sin tainted, curse blighted, sorrow
stricken humanity.

Oh, let every affection of our heart, every
faculty of our soul, every power of our mind,
every action of our life, embody as its grateful
response the words of the adoring apostle,
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!”
The decipherer…

by Toplady

To unconverted persons, a great part of the Bible
resembles a letter written in ciphers.

The blessed Spirit’s office is to act as God’s decipherer,
by letting His people into the secret of celestial
experience, as the key and clew to those sweet
mysteries of grace which were before as a garden
shut up, or as a fountain sealed, or as a book
written in an unknown character.

His secret power and influence


 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

None can really come to Jesus by faith, unless this drawing power is put forth.

The Holy Spirit—that gracious and blessed Teacher, acts upon the soul by His secret power and influence, puts ‘cords of love’ and ‘bands of mercy’ around the heart, and by the attractive influence that He puts forth, draws the soul to Jesus’ feet; and in due time reveals Him as the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely one.

As the Spirit reveals and manifests these precious things of Christ to the soul, He raises up a living faith whereby Jesus is sought unto, looked unto, laid hold of, and is brought into the heart with a divine power, there to be enshrined in its warmest and tenderest affections.

All through its Christian pilgrimage, this blessed Spirit goes on to deepen His work in the soul, and to discover more and more of the suitability, beauty, and blessedness of the Lord Jesus, as He draws the soul more and more unto Him. There is no maintaining of the light, life, and power of God in our souls, except as we are daily coming unto Jesus as the living stone, and continually living upon Him as the bread of life.

How do we become children of God? 

I answer, first, by “eternal election;” and therefore we are called “a chosen generation,” 1 Pet. 2:9. 

2 By “pre-adoption“. And, because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father,” Gal. 4:6. 

3, By regeneration. God, who from everlasting willed our adoption in Christ, begets us by his word, under the prolific operations of his Spirit operating and working with it. “God of his own will begat us with the word of truth,” James, 1:18. 

The word comes to the elect, “not as the word of man,” 1 Thes. 2:15; “not in word only, but in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance,” 1 Thess. 1:5. When this is the case, the word, under the operation of the Spirit, becomes a spiritual embryo; or, as Peter terms it, an incorruptible seed; “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, that lives and abides for ever,” 1 Peter, 1:23. 

Under the quickening influences of the word and Spirit the sinner is brought to a spiritual sense of his state; he feels the severity of the law, the terrors of God, and the fears of death. These generally entangle the quickened sinner more or less. The ever-blessed and glorious Trinity are jointly concerned in this work of quickening the sinner. 

God gave us life in Christ Jesus; 

Christ is the resurrection and the life; and the 

Holy Ghost appears the Spirit of life, and quickens us to feel our need of “the bread of God that came down from heaven;” as you see in the parable of the prodigal son, who cried out, “I perish with hunger,” and yet was convinced there was enough of the bread of life in his father’s house. Thus God gave us life in Christ Jesus, and the Spirit quickens us to feel the need of it, and in time leads us to feed on it. 

The word of God does not quicken unless the Spirit attend it. Some “hold the truth in righteousness,” and the gospel comes to some in word only; but when Jesus speaks to the sinner’s heart, the Spirit of God applies the word, and life and power are felt. “The words that I speak unto you are spirit, and they are life.” 

It is true the Psalmist says, “This is my comfort in my affliction, thy word hath quickened me;” yet he owns the Spirit of God as the life of that word, as appears by his prayer, “Take not thy holy Spirit from me.” 

Under this powerful sensation the will is humbled, and sweetly inclined to choose the better part. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of my power.” Psalm 110:3. The soul longs for reconciliation with his offended God; and the word of God at times gives a little encouragement to faith and hope; but fresh discoveries of sin, attended with Satan’s temptations, encourage doubts, fears, and unbelief. Thus the soul labours between feeble faith and unbelief, languid hope and slavish fear. This is the travail of the soul that is quickened, and drawing near his delivery; as it is written, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but, as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man child is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice,” John, 16:21, 22. 

Under this spiritual travail the soul is kept in spiritual activity: every power is in motion after God, though it has such a burden of imaginary and real evils to wade through. “I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search,” Psal. 77:6. 

The world, with its trifles, is detested, and the one thing needful will be uppermost. The trouble of his mind crucifies him to popularity, and secret retirement best suits the frame of his heart: this keeps him from his old companions; the word of God becomes his hourly study and meditation; and a saving knowledge of God is the ultimate desire of his soul. “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom,” Prov. 18:1. 

William Huntington

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