Bulletin Edition May 2024

There are some words that describe things that cannot be unsuccessful.  For example, one can have an unsuccessful medicine, but one cannot have an unsuccessful cure, for a thing can be called a cure unless and until is successful.

The words used to describe our Lord and His saving work are such words.  For example, He is called a saviour.  The very word “saviour” implies success in the work of saving.  A person could attempt to save or rescue someone in trouble, but he cannot be called a saviour unless he is successful in the attempt.  So it is with our Lord – He is called a saviour precisely because He actually did save all those He came to save. “You shall call His name Jesus, for He SHALL SAVE His people from their sins.”

Christ’s work is called atonement.  An atonement is a sacrifice that puts away the wrath of God.  There could be an unsuccessful sacrifice: it might be that the thing offered was not suitable; it might be that it was not offered correctly.  But, while it can be called a sacrifice, it cannot be called an atonement unless and until it actually puts away the wrath of God.  Our Lord’s sacrifice is called an atonement precisely because it actually did put away the wrath of God.

His work is called redemption.  Redemption is the price paid to set a debtor free from his debt.  One could make an unsuccessful payment: maybe it was not enough or in the wrong currency, therefore.  the payment was rejected.  But, there cannot be an unsuccessful redemption, for a payment cannot be called a redemption unless and until it is successful – unless and until the one to whom the payment was made has accepted the payment and released his claim on the object or person redeemed.  Christ’s payment is called redemption precisely because He paid the full price of our redemption (death) in the proper currency (blood) and God has accepted His payment and released His claim of justice against the redeemed ones.

The result of all this is that all for whom Christ came as a saviour are, indeed, saved, all for whom He made atonement have no threat of wrath against them, and all for whom Christ paid the redemption price owe nothing more to God.  

Joe Terrell 

I  am not in the least doubt, whether salvation be of faith or of works; whether faith be of our own power or of God’s operation; whether Christ’s obedience, or our own, be the just ground of our hope; whether a man can truly call Jesus Lord, but by the teaching of the Holy Ghost.  I have no more hesitation about these points, than I should have were I asked whether it was God or man who created the heavens and the earth.                                     –John Newton

There Is A Prescribed Means Of Worship. 

Cain came to God with a bloodless sacrifice, the fruit of his own effort, and God rejected him. Abel came to God with the blood of an innocent lamb, a type of Christ, the Lamb of God, and God accepted him. Blessed be God, it is possible for fallen, sinful man to approach God and find acceptance with him! But the only ground upon which anyone can come to God and find grace in his sight is by the blood of Christ. We are sinners. His blood is propitiation! We are guilty. His blood is pardon! We are defiled. His blood is cleansing! We are naked. His blood is righteousness! We are separated from God. His blood is reconciliation! If you would be accepted of God, your only means of access to him is the precious blood of Christ.                                             

 ~Don Fortner (

If a lobster loses its claw in a fight

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you.
 I will remove your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh!” Ezekiel 36:26

What a wonder it is, that a man could ever have a new heart!

You know that if a lobster loses its claw in a fight, it may grow a new claw—and that is thought to be quite marvellous.

It would be far more astonishing, if men could be able to grow new arms and new legs.

But who ever heard of a man who grew a new heart?

You may have seen a bough lopped off a tree, and you may have thought that perhaps the tree will sprout again and there will be a new limb. But who ever heard of a wooden fence post getting new sap and a new life?

Yet my Lord and Master, the crucified and exalted Savior—has given His people new hearts, and has and made new creations of them!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ—he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Let us rejoice together in this regenerating Savior!

My only causes of complaint

(Letters of John Newton)

I am blessed with perfect health, and all things have been well with us abroad and at home.

My only causes of complaint arise from my depraved nature and the workings of indwelling sin. I wish I was more humbled for them, and watchful against them.

I trust I do, in some measure, know what manner of people the Lord’s redeemed ought to be, and I hope sincerely to be growing and pressing forward. But indeed, I am not what I would be, or should be.

I would be thankful—few have more evident causes.
I would be humble—none can have greater reason.
I would be more spirituallyminded—for even my experience tells me that all below is vanity. Surely my lot is peculiarly favored, for the Lord has wonderfully anticipated and exceeded my wishes on every hand. But without the light of His countenance, all is faint and tasteless.

Blessed be God for the news of a better world, where there will be no sin, change, or defect, forever!

Let us praise Him, likewise, that He has appointed means of grace and seasons of refreshment here below—for a throne of grace, a precious Bible, and returning ordinances. These are valuable privileges, and so they appear to us when our hearts are in a lively frame. Then everything appears little and worthless, in comparison with communion with God. O for a coal of fire from the heavenly altar to warm our frozen hearts! O for a taste of divine love and a glimpse of glory—that we might mount up as with eagle’s wings!

Joy! (“The Preciousness of Faith” by Octavius Winslow)

Christian, your joy will be in proportion to the
directness and simplicity with which your faith
deals with Christ, looks to Christ, lives upon
the fullness of Christ, rests in His complete
salvation, and draws all its evidences and
hopes from Christ.

Nothing can kindle this holy joy in the heart
but a believing view of what the Lord Jesus
is, and what He has done.

It is only a sense of full pardon, of free
justification, of gracious adoption, of the
hope of glory, that can awaken joy in the
soul of a believing sinner.

What joy can there be in the heart of a convicted
felon, or of a condemned criminal, or of a convict
paying the sad penalty of his crime in lonely exile,
toil, and degradation? None whatever!
But convey to him a free pardon, unbar his prison,
break his manacles, and let him go free; restore
him to his country, his family, his home; and
bruised and broken though his heart is with a
sense of guilt and shame, yet you have awoken
in its sad chambers the sweetest chimes, and
joy, entrancing joy, thrills and swells in his bosom.

Such is a picture of a soul cleansed from the
guilt of sin, and freed from condemnation of
the law by a believing acceptance of the Lord
Jesus Christ. The moment that Christ is received
into the lowly, penitent, and believing heart;
the instant that Christ is seen paying the great
debt, suffering the penalty, enduring the
condemnation; a joy springs up in the soul
such as never thrilled an angel’s heart!

You are freed from servitude, delivered
from hell and on your way to heaven to
spend your eternity forever with the Lord!

Christ’s joy can only remain in you,
and your joy be full, when in childlike
faith you look directly, and only and
constantly to Christ.
Spiritual Joy!

(by Octavius Winslow)

Spiritual joy is a holy, sensitive plant.
It shrinks from the rude, ungentle touch;
from every influence uncongenial with its
heaven born nature. Watch it with sleepless
vigilance; shield it with every hallowed defense.

There are many hostile influences to which
it is exposed, any one of which will seriously
injure it. Temptation courted, sin tampered
with, worldliness indulged, the creature
idolized, means of grace slighted, Christ

Any one of these things will dampen your joy,
and cause it to shrink, and compel it to retire.

But nothing will sooner or more effectually
do this than looking away from the Object
and Source of joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is everything in Christ to make you a
joyful Christian. There is all redundance of
grace to subdue your corruptions, an
overflowing sympathy to soothe your sorrows,
a sovereign efficacy in His blood to cleanse
your guilt, infinite resources to meet all your
needs, His ever encircling presence around
your path, His ceaseless intercession on your
behalf in heaven. His loving attention of all
you feel, and fear, and need.

Oh, is this not enough to make your heart a
constant sunshine, and your life a pleasant psalm?

The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth!” John 1:14

(Charles Spurgeon)

Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father.
You can say, “He is truly divine. He has done that for me, which none but a God could do!
He has . . .
  subdued my stubborn will,
  melted a heart of adamant,
  opened gates of brass,
  and snapped bars of iron!
He has turned my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy!
He has made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!
Let others think as they will of Him—to me He must be the only begotten of the Father!

And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been, then I would never have been saved! He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said, “Your sins which are many, are all forgiven!”

And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed.

I bear witness that . . .
  never any servant had such a master as I have;
  never any brother had such a kinsman as He has been to me;
  never any spouse had such a husband as Christ has been to my soul;
  never any sinner had a better Savior;
  never any mourner had a better comforter than Christ has been to my heart.

I desire none beside Him!
In life, He is my true life.
In death, He shall be the death of death.
In poverty, Christ is my true riches.
In darkness, He is my sun.
He is my manna in this poor wilderness world.
He shall be heavenly manna when I come to the heavenly Canaan.

Jesus is to me . . .
  all grace,and no wrath;
  all truth, and no falsehood.
And of grace and truth He is full, infinitely full!

The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth!” John 1:14

The religion of JOY

(Octavius Winslow, “The Sympathy of Christ”)

The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy; deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?

“My Father Is Greater Than I”      

 John 14:28

     The Lord Jesus does not say, “My Father was greater than I,” as though the three Persons of the holy Trinity are not one co-eternal, co-equal God. In his eternal Diety, the Son is in every way equal with and one with the Father and the Spirit.

     And our Savior does not say, “My Father shall be greater than I,” as though the future glory of Christ will be inferior to the glory of the Father. That cannot be the meaning of his words, because he tells us plainly that upon his return to heaven as our Mediator he resumed the glory which he had with the Father before the world was made (John 17:2, 5). The only difference is that he has now assumed that Divine glory as a Man, the God-man, our Mediator.

     The disciples were distressed by Christ’s declaration that he must depart and go unto the Father. And here he gently corrects their selfishness of feeling. They should have rejoiced. But they were distressed. Their reluctance to let him go and hesitancy to see him suffer the death of the cross did not reveal a lack of faith in the atonement accomplished by his death, but a weakness of faith. It did not arise from a lack of love, but a weakness of love, which the Lord is very tenderly correcting.

     Dean Bagot gave the following paraphrase, which accurately reflects the meaning of our Lord’s words: “If ye really loved me on my own account – if the regard and affection you profess to entertain were purely disinterested in its nature – so far from evincing sorrow at the prospect of my departure, you would rejoice that I leave this state of temporary degradation; that I shall cease to be the Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief; that I shall resume that original and essential glory which I enjoyed with the Father from eternity. As long as I continue in my present state of humiliation, my Father is greater in glory than I; but when the days of my flesh shall terminate, I shall then be glorified with the Father’s ownself, with the glory which I had with him before the world was created.”

Don Fortner

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