Fate, accident, chance — or SOVEREIGNTY?

“The lot is cast into the lap — but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” Over every occurrence in nature and in providence, He writes, “I the Lord do all these things!” True, His thoughts are often mysterious, and His ways are past finding out. We are led at times, amid the bewildering mazes of His providential dealings, to exclaim, “O Lord, how great are Your works, and Your thoughts are very deep!” Be it ours to defer our verdict — until their full development.

Oh, blessed assurance — that the loom of our life is in the hands of the Great Designer — that it is He who is interweaving the threads of our existence: the light — and the dark, the acknowledged good — and the apparent evil. The chain of what is erroneously called “destiny,” is in His keeping. He knows its every connecting link — He has forged each one on His own anvil!

Man’s purposes have failed and are ever liable to fail — his brightest anticipations may be thwarted; his best-laid schemes may be frustrated.  Life is often a retrospect of crushed hopes — the bright rainbow-hues of morning, passing in its afternoon into damp mist and drizzling rain. “Many are the thoughts in a man’s heart,” (knowing no fulfillment nor fruition) “but the counsel of the Lord — that shall stand.” “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse My actions! “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!” Revelation 19:6

-John MacDuff

What Is The Origin Of Salvation?

So then, they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (Galatians 3:9-10)

What does it mean to be “of the works of the law?” The word “of” refers to origin. If I am of the works of the law I trace the origin of my salvation to something I have done.  Just what that something is varies according to who you are talking to.  Some would say it is obedience to the law.  Others would say it is your sincerity. Still, others would say it is your will that decides whether to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation. Whatever form it takes, it is still something you must do before you can be saved. Salvation is the end, the pay back, for the works that you perform.  But those who are “of truth” (Gal 3: 9), trace the origin of their salvation to God himself.  What we do does not end in salvation. We begin in salvation. Our works find their origin in God himself. (Eph 2: 8-10). All who are of the works of the law are under God’s curse!  All who are “of faith” are “blessed with faithful Abraham.”

-Pastor Todd Nibert. Pastor of Todd’s Road Grace Church of Lexington, KY USA

How Is It That God Sees No Sin In His People?

He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. Numbers 23:21

The sweet and blessed fact that God sees no sin in us does not in any way imply that we do not sin or that God’s omniscience fails to observe it. This is a matter of Divine justice. The record books of heaven record no iniquity, no transgression, and no sin against God’s elect. God will not impute sin to His saints, or require satisfaction from us, because our sins were made Christ’s and were justly imputed to Him when He was made sin for us. He paid for them. Our sins have been forever expunged from the book of God’s offended justice by our Savior’s precious blood. Read the testimony of Holy Scripture and rejoice (Romans 4:8; 8:1, 33, 34; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21). Let all who trust Christ get hold of this blessed, glorious fact: — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” Rejoice in it. Give praise to God for it. And walk in the blessed comfort and assurance of it all the days of your life.

The Lord Jesus Christ has, by the sacrifice of Himself, put away our sins, all of them: past, present, and future. They were imputed to Him, laid upon Him, punished in Him, and put away by Him (Isaiah 53:4-6). He made an end of our sins (Daniel 9:24). He removed all the iniquity of His people in one day, by one sacrifice (Zechariah 3:9). In Him we are fully justified from all things, so much so that in the eyes of God’s holy law and justice we have no sin (Acts 13:38-39; 1 John 3:5). By His one great sacrifice for sin, the Son of God has made all God’s elect perfect in His sight (Hebrews 10:11-14).

God the Father has, upon the ground of Christ’s blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and satisfaction, freely and fully forgiven all the sins of His people. The blood of Christ has blotted our sins out of the ledger book of heaven, so that justice cannot see sin in us. (Jeremiah 50:20).

In God’s esteem all believers are, as the church and bride of Christ, the very perfection of beauty and holiness. This blessed fact is the foundation of all solid, biblical hope of future happiness. It is the very foundation of our confidence and faith before God, the abiding comfort of our souls, and will be the ground of our triumph in the hour of death.

-Don Fortner

God Is Not A Gambler!

Evangelist Rolfe Barnard (1904-69) was once asked if God gives to every man a chance to be saved. Rolfe replied that God does nothing by chance, for everything done by God is done on purpose.

God Himself has said so! “Jehovah of hosts has sworn, saying, ‘Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand. … For Jehovah of hosts has purposed it, and who will annul it? … I have purposed it; I will also do it. … I have purposed and will not relent. … (Isaiah 14:25, 27; 46:11; Jeremiah 4:28).

God’s spokesmen agree! “Jehovah has done what He purposed” (Lamentations 2:17).

This is true also in the salvation of the sinners God saves.

• They are “the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

• They were “predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

• They are saved through “the purpose of God according to election” (Romans 9:11) , “according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9), “according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11).

 Everything God does is done on purpose. Nothing that He purposed was ever not done. He left nothing to chance. God is not a gambler!

– Daniel E. Parks, Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Saint Croix, US Virgin Islands

Why Do We Need To Hear God’s Word Preached?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Faith is belief, trust and confidence in God and in His Christ. Faith in God (Christ) gives peace, hope, assurance, rest, joy, strength, courage, patience and many more things to the believer. Faith cometh by hearing. In the wisdom and purpose of God, faith cometh by hearing His Word, the gospel, preached. If by His grace we hear it, believe it, and receive it, then all things mentioned will be ours. And all grace, mercy and peace will be multiplied … will grow, as we hear and feed upon the “sincere milk of the Word.” If we do not hear, the opposite is true. If we do not hear the Word:

– Trust will not grow, but doubt will.

– Hope will not grow, but despair will.

– Peace will not grow, but turmoil will.

– Assurance will not grow, but worry will.

– Patience will not grow, but impatience will, impulsiveness will.

– Joy will not grow, but sadness will.

– Strength will not grow, but weakness will.

– Courage will not grow, but fear and cowardice will.

– Godliness will not grow, but worldliness will.

– Knowledge will not grow, but ignorance will.

– Fellowship will not grow, but loneliness will.

– Humility will not grow, but pride will.

– Selflessness will not grow, but selfishness will.

– Kindness will not grow, but meanness will.

– Gentleness will not grow, but hardness will.

– Righteousness will not grow, but self-righteousness will.

– Temperance will not grow, but intemperance will.

How important then is the hearing of God’s Word? We cannot live without it. We cannot cope without It. We cannot please God without It. We cannot be justified without it. We cannot live together without it. We cannot have any rest for our souls without it. Hear it again; “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

-Paul Mahan, Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA

Our God Is In Control Of Everything

Dear   soul,   think   about   it:   if   there   is   one   germ somewhere out there in the universe that is not under His control, then my health, my life, is just a matter of chance or fortune – good or bad!  If there is one demon spirit out there some place that is not under God’s control, then my hope of salvation would dry up like Jonah’s gourd.  I would have no assurance at all, for I have no confidence in me (Phil. 3:3).

I am so thankful that when the religious heathen ask me about my God, I can answer with the psalmist, “Our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:2, 3).  It hath pleased Him to save His people (Matt. 1:21); and He shall not fail (Isa. 42:4).  “Salvation” in its entirety, “is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9; Phil. 1:6). The God of the Bible “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” and makes “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called  according to his purpose” (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:28).

I hold onto the Lord as tightly as I can, But my assurance is that I am in His hand!

-Maurice Montgomery

This Is The Saint’s Inheritance!

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17

This is the especial blessedness of being a child of God: that death, which puts a final extinguisher on all the hopes and happiness of all the unregenerate—gives him the fulfillment of all his hopes and the consummation of all his happiness—for it places him in possession of “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that
fades not away, reserved in heaven.”

In this present earthly life, we have sometimes sips and tastes of sonship, feeble indeed and interrupted; yet are they so far pledges of an inheritance to come.

But this life is only an introduction to a better. In this life we are but children—but in the life to come, we shall be put into full possession of the eternal inheritance.

And what is this? Nothing less than God Himself. “Heirs of God!” says the Apostle. God Himself is the inheritance of His people—yes, He Himself in
all His glorious perfections . . .
  all the love of God,
  all the goodness of God,
  all the holiness of God,
  all His happiness, bliss, and blessedness,
  all His might, majesty, and glory, in
  all the blaze of one eternal, unclouded day!

This is the saint’s inheritance!

Let us press on by faith and prayer to
win this eternal and glorious crown!

– J. C. Philpot

Eternal Salvation

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9

Today men talk about salvation only as something done in the experience of time with eternal consequences. But in the Bible, salvation is described as something done by God in eternity past, revealed and experienced in time, and enjoyed in eternity future. Read the Word of God, marking the verb tenses used, and you will see that salvation was accomplished for God’s elect in the covenant of grace before the world began (Romans 8:29-30, 2 Timothy 1:9,  Ephesians 1:4-6).

Before the world began, we were accepted in Christ, according to the will of God. We were accepted in Christ as our covenant Head and Surety, accepted in union with him by electing love, accepted in his heart as the objects of his mercy, from eternity.

But why is this eternal aspect of salvation so important? The nature of God’s covenant demands it. In the infinite mind of God, all things are eternally present. What he purposed is accomplished. Before the world was he blessed us with every spiritual blessing of grace in Christ. God’s holy character tells us that he must have looked upon his people as being justified and accepted in Christ from eternity. Had it not been for the chosen seed in Adam’s loins, whom God had eternally justified in Christ, at the moment Adam sinned, a holy God would have wiped our race off the earth. The only thing that keeps God from destroying the world in his wrath right now is the fact that he has an elect remnant in it, whom he accepts and is determined to save. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And the immutability of God demands that our salvation by him be eternal. God never changes. Neither does his attitude and relation to men change. “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). God’s will to elect is election. God’s will to adopt is adoption. God’s will to justify is justification. And God’s will to save is salvation. I do not suggest that this is the whole of salvation. Redemption, regeneration, repentance, faith, and perseverance are necessary. But in the mind and purpose of God, his people were as truly saved before the world began as they shall be when all are gathered around his throne in heaven.

-Don Fortner

The Believer’s Certain Hope

Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psalms 130:7-8) 

Oh, let every believer in Jesus Christ who is brought into the depths by our sin or by the dark providence of God cry unto the Father in the name of Christ our mediator! Let us confess the holiness of God and our great need for forgiveness — forgiveness that is only found in Jesus Christ. Let us by faith fall at the feet of Christ in whom alone is pardon, forgiveness, and grace to help.

 Then we must by faith in hope wait with endurance in the midst of the depths for God to fulfill all that He has promised to do for us in His word. And here the Holy Spirit gives every struggling believer both wisdom and comfort while in the depths:

1.   Let Israel Hope in the Lord. This is Spiritual Israel whom God promised to save (Romans 9:6-9: Psalm 130:7). You who believe are to hope because you are the chosen elect sons of God. Therefore, no matter our state, stage, or circumstance let us Hope in the LORD.

2. The reason for our hope is because “with Him is Mercy and Plenteous redemption.” Remember the Lord is “very pitiful and of tender mercy.” The Father saw us a far off in our sins and from eternity was full of compassion to put us in Christ. The Son was full of mercy and accomplished our redemption. The Spirit in mercy came to fulfill the purpose of God by applying the redemption of Christ to us. God being full of mercy continually forgives and pardons all our sins (Psalm 86:5;15; 1 John 1:8-10).

3. A gracious promise is given that the LORD shall redeem all Israel from All his iniquities. Here is the comfort of the church in every age that our gospel will be victorious, and God will call ALL those Christ redeemed (Hebrews 10:12-14; John 6:37-40).

Therefore no matter the darkness of our providence or the state in which we find ourselves in this world, let us hope in the Lord! Hope in his mercy and the plenteous redemption of Christ. For God shall save his people and none shall be lost.

I Must Preach The Gospel!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2)

As a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ I will declare the gospel to all who will listen. 

1.      I preach the truth of Man’s total depravity. That man is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins so that he could never please God by his works or come to Christ by his will (Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 3:10-20; John 6:44).

2.     I preach the truth of God’s sovereign election. That God chose a people before the foundation of the world that He would save and put them in Jesus Christ as their High Priest and surety (Ephesians 1:3-6; Romans 9:11-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

3.     I declare the truth of Jesus perfect and accomplished redemption of all the Father gave to him (Hebrews 10:12-14; John 17:1-2). Jesus our High Priest became a man and accomplished all the righteousness of God by His faith for the elect.  Jesus has by His blood satisfied the Justice of God for all the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:11).

4.      I publish the exceeding great power of the Holy Spirit to give life and faith to all that the Father chose and all the Son redeemed (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:13-14;17-19).

And I know the call of the Spirit is effectual (it gets the job done), and all He calls will come to Jesus (John 6:37-40).

5.       I testify that all these objects of God’s free grace who believe on Christ shall be kept by the power of God through faith and none of them shall be lost (1 Peter 1:5).  Redeemed, and called vessels of divine love are always looking and living by faith in Christ (Galatians 3:10).

This is THE gospel.  There is no other gospel but salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone (Galatians 1:6-9). I will tell it to all who will listen, and even when they won’t.  But there is only one type of person, the gospel, is intended for.  It is for sinners.  These elect, redeemed, and called people are sinners.  They are without merit, without righteousness, and without hope.  They are dead, blind, and leprous sinners.  And these alone will hear the gospel, believe the gospel, love the gospel, and support the gospel.  For Jesus only came to save sinners.  Therefore I long to preach to sinners.

-Fred Evans, Pastor of Redeemer’s Grace Church