Christ Crucified

The preaching of Christ Jesus and Him crucified is hated by this religious world.  But those who believe, and are saved, love it with a perfect love. It is our only hope, our Salvation. If we compromise on this to please the people of our day, we compromise the Gospel, and make the death of our Lord Jesus Christ of none effect.  We have no Salvation.  We have no hope.  We will stand before a thrice Holy God with a hope only in what we can do to satisfy His justice.  We will be obligated to pay our sin debt with the works of the flesh, while the Scriptures declare that, “By the works of the flesh shall no man be justified in His sight.”  What hope is there in this?  None whatsoever.                                                                            


Fear Not

Without a doubt a world-crisis is at hand, and everywhere men are alarmed. But God is not! He is never taken by surprise. It is no unexpected emergency which now confronts Him, for He is the One who “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1v11). Hence, though the world is panic-stricken, the word to the believer is, “Fear not”! “All things” are subject to His immediate control: “all things” are moving in accord with His eternal purpose, and therefore, “all things” are “working together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It must be so, for “of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things” (Romans 11v36). Yet how little is this realized today even by the people of God! Many suppose that He is little more than a far-distant Spectator, taking no immediate hand in the affairs of earth. It is true that man has a will, but so also has God. It is true that man is endowed with power, but God is all-powerful. It is true that, speaking generally, the material world is regulated by law, but behind that law is the law-Giver and law-Administrator. Man is but the creature. God is the Creator, and endless ages before man first saw the light “the mighty God” (Isaiah 9v6) existed, and ere the world was founded, made His plans; and being infinite in power and man only finite, His purpose and plan cannot be withstood or thwarted by the creatures of His own hands.

-A.W. Pink (written in 1930)

Sovereignty Belongs To God

Man’s will has never determined one single event in the world’s history and never will. God’s will alone determines events and brings them to pass. It is true that men do act according to their choice, will, intellect and reason, but this is not the whole truth. The whole truth is that every event, circumstance, opportunity, happening and thought, whether good or bad, that influences and motivated man’s choice is foreordained of God. Sovereignty is the prerogative of God alone. Man is God’s creature. All created things are totally dependent upon and absolutely subject to their Creator’s will. If God is the Creator of this universe, He is sovereign over it; and if He is not sovereign over the universe, He is not its Creator.

This truth is self-evident to all honest minds. To deny God as sovereign is to deny Him as Father. To deny Him as Father is to deny Him as Saviour. The denial of God’s sovereignty is in essence and fact the complete denial of God. To deny God is to proclaim the utterly unbelievable and absolutely impossible absurdity that man made himself; and that he came from nowhere and goes nowhere; that he lives and dies without purpose or reason; and, that his thoughts and actions have no meaning whatsoever. To deny God is to proclaim the theory that the universe is without cause, reason, purpose, meaning, destiny or hope.

The sovereignty of God is absolute. To acknowledge this truth is at once to acknowledge that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass; that nothing else can come to pass; that predestination is a fact; that God does rule in the kingdoms of men; that all human ties, bonds and relationships are divinely appointed and formed; that salvation rests solely, fully and only in God’s election; that salvation is by God’s grace and His grace alone; and that no part of man’s salvation is of himself either in origin or execution. Where men get the idea that man’s will is the all-determining factor or moving cause of his salvation is hard to see. Certainly they do not get it from the Bible. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13). Any sermon that does not have Christ in the beginning, the middle, and the end is a mistake in conception and crime in execution.

-Scott Richardson

Bear With Your Brothers As The Lord Bears With You

Our Lord has many weak children in his family, many dull pupils in his school, many raw soldiers in his army, many lame sheep in his flock. Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away. Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren.

-J.C Ryle

Only God Rains Down The True And Needful Blessings

. . . and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26

Here is sovereign grace, “I will send down showers.” Is it not sovereign, divine mercy — for who can say, “I will send down showers,” except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain, “Who sends down the rain upon the earth? Who scatters the showers upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord?” Grace is the gift of God –and is not to be created by man.

It is also needed grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds — but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful, is the divine blessing. In vain you labor — until God bestows the plenteous shower, and sends the needed grace down!

Then, it is plenteous grace. “I will send down showers.” It does not say, “I will send them drops,” but “showers.” So it is with grace. If God gives a blessing, He usually gives it in such a measure that there is not room enough to receive it. Plenteous grace! Ah! we need plenteous grace to keep us humble, to make us prayerful, to make us holy, to make us zealous, to preserve us through this life, and at last to land us in heaven!
We cannot do without saturating showers of grace!

Again, it is seasonable grace. “I will send down showers in season.” What is your season this morning? Is it the season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. “I will send down showers in season.”

And here is a varied grace. “I will give you showers of blessing.” The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God’s blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace, He will also give comforting grace. He will send “showers of blessing.” Look up today, O parched plant — and open your leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering!

C.H Spurgeon

Our Tender-hearted Shepherd

. . . he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom . . . Isaiah 40:11

Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the Good Shepherd. Why does He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness at once melts His heart. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock — draw forth His compassion. He purchased them with blood, they are His property — He must and will care for that which cost Him so dear.

Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom — if He did not love them much?  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)

Here is tender nearness — so near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer.  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.  (John 14:20)

Here is hallowed familiarity — there are precious love-passages between Christ and His weak ones.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  (John 10:27)

Here is perfect safety — in His bosom, who can hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first.  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.  (Proverbs 18:10)

Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort.  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (Matthew 11:28)

Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!

-C.H Spurgeon

Looking Unto Jesus

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

The believer’s experience of salvation begins with a look.  “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22.)  What a blessed “look” that is when by the power of the Holy Spirit we look away from everything, and “look” to Christ alone.  We look away from our doings, and look to him and His finished work upon the cross.  We look away from our feelings, and look to him and His promise.  We look away from our supposed goodness, and look to Him who is all our righteousness.  We no longer look to anything in ourselves to make us acceptable unto God, but rejoice that we are “accepted in the Beloved.”

We must continue to run our race in this world “looking unto Jesus.”  We must look to Him in our weakness to receive strength as we go on our way.  We must look to Him in our discouragements to be given encouragement.  We must look to Him at all times or we will surely grow weary in running our race.

We must anticipate the joy that waits us when we will look no more by faith.  We will then experience what Job knew awaited him: “whom (his redeemer) I shall see for myself.” We will see Him, look upon Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.

What was the “joy that was set before Him, who despising the shame endured the cross?” His delight was to do his Father’s will, and the cross was part of His will.  His obedience, then was part of His joy. His bringing many sons to glory is also part of His joy. He accomplished the salvation of all of those that the Father chose and gave to Him.

-David Pledger, Pastor of Lincoln Wood Church, Houston, TX USA

God, The Problem Solver

One of the men of our church was in a shelter the other day and saw a sign in the office that said, “I am God and I am here to solve your problems.”

This is all that God is to the majority of people – how can this be? Because this is the way those who occupy the pulpits present him. God is made to be all things to all people. Whatever your problem, “god” can handle it. If it is a health, financial, marital or anything else . . . even a sick pet! Just ask god . . . he can solve your problem.

This is atheism in practice; this is imagination run amok; and the best the natural man can come up with in its view of God.

Is this the view the scriptures give of God? The God of the Bible is sovereign, immutable, eternally holy and righteous, and can do nothing for anyone without doing it righteously. He doesn’t reveal himself as the solver of problems but as a “Just God and Savior.”

There are those who make heaven and hell the issue. The word of God makes Christ and sin the issue. The majority make “god is love” to be paramount, but the Holy Scriptures make His righteousness and how sinners are made righteous to be paramount. The scriptures make the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ as the only way God will save sinners as it is preached. Scott Richardson has said many times, “God will not speak to, or be spoken to, by any member of the human race apart from His Son Jesus Christ”.

What is man’s real problem? It is sin, rebellion, and self-righteousness – how is this to be solved? It already has – by the Lord Jesus being “made to be sin, by bearing that sin to the cross, and there bearing the judgment and justice of God against sin, once and for all.”

By God given grace and faith, God will justly justify the sinner who believes on His Son.

– Don Bell, Pastor of Latana Grace Church, Crossville, TN USA

God Bears His Sheep Through the Change Of Years

As I was looking through past bulletins I came across the following article which I wrote as we moved from 1996 to 1997. I would have been just short of my 42nd birthday. But the succeeding years have only proved the truth of what I wrote over 23 years ago:

We cannot help but notice the changing of the years, for we are creatures of time. The years rob us of youth, then of strength, and finally, of life, itself. So much about us changes. But God never changes. 1996 will slide into 1997 without so much as the slightest mark of age or decay showing upon the Divine face, “Thou hast the dew of youth.” Our Redeemer is ever in the prime of life, ever strong, ever patient, ever merciful.

The world looks upon the new year as a clean slate. We shall not be long into the new year before we shall have defiled it with our sins, but the Redeemer’s patience shall not become worn; He shall still “forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”

In the coming year, we shall, each of us, creep one year closer to the grave, but it is only a move closer to Him who conquered death. There may be many things in 1997 that are different from 1996, but this shall remain the same: the living God shall care for His sheep in this world and shall work all things in 1997 together for their eternal good. As the hymn writer wrote:

"Even down to old age all My people shall prove,
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love.
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be born."

Lord, grant Your goodness and grace to us in the coming year.

-Joe Terrell, Pastor of Grace Community Church, Rock Valley, IA USA

Christ, Our Refuge

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my   salvation — my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

On every side are hosts of enemies ever invading our souls — trampling down every good thing in our hearts — accompanied by a flying troop of temptations, doubts, fears, guilt and bondage sweeping over our soul.

And we, as regards our own strength, are helpless against them.

But there is a refuge set before us in the gospel of the grace of God. The Lord Jesus Christ, as King in Zion, is there held up
before our eyes as . . .
  the Rock of our refuge,
  our strong Tower,
  our impregnable Fortress;
and we are encouraged by every precious promise and every gospel invitation when we are overrun and distressed by these wandering, ravaging, plundering tribes—to flee unto and find a safe refuge in Him.

“Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge.” Psalm 16:1

“O Lord my God, I take refuge in You; save  and deliver me from all who pursue me.”      Psalm 7:1