Preach to the Whole Man

“There is a danger of talking more about salvation than about the Savior. There is a danger of preaching redemption and neglecting to preach the Redeemer. It could be that we know much about justification and little about Jesus Christ, his person and his work. One thing is certain, a man will arrive at right doctrine through Christ, but it is also possible for him to have orthodox doctrine and yet not know Christ. The gospel is not a collection of dry doctrines; it is the revelation of a living, merciful, and ever-present Lord.

Men and women are not going to come to hear you preach the doctrines of grace. But if needy sinners get wind of the fact that you are preaching the grace of Christ, they will give you a hearing. When you only preach to my head in facts so numerous and terms so tedious, you weary me, and forget that I am a human with emotions and a hungry heart! I laugh, I cry, I love, I feel, I sorrow, I doubt, I fear, and I need a minister with whom I can identify in all these, who has the message of God’s mercy; not cold, calculated creeds which ignore these human traits.

The Arminian cheerleader sings joyful hymns, weeps, laughs, rejoices, and calls for men to commit themselves to a movement with no message of hope nor assurance. The Calvinistic professor stands rigidly in his pulpit of pious orthodoxy, daring not to weep lest he be called emotional, daring not to laugh lest he be thought frivolous, daring not to call mourners or seekers lest he be called a free-willer, daring not to let people know him or get close to him lest he lose their respect and awe. Someone may find out he is only a sinner saved by grace.

Lord, deliver me from having to listen to either one of them, and send me an Elijah of like passions who will minister to my heart and to my head — to the whole man.”

-Henry Mahan

Salvation Must Be By Grace Alone

The very expression “the grace of God” implies and denotes that the sinner’s condition is desperate to the last degree, and that God may justly leave him to perish; yea, it is a wonder of wonders that he is not already in hell. Grace is a divine provision for those who are so depraved they cannot change their own nature, so averse from God they will not turn to Him, so blind they can neither see their malady nor the remedy, so dead spiritually that God must bring them out of their graves on to resurrection ground if ever they are to walk in newness of life.

Grace is the sinner’s last and only hope; if he is not saved by grace, he will never be saved at all. Grace levels all distinctions, and regards the most zealous religionist on the same plane as the most profligate, the chaste virgin as the foul prostitute. Therefore God is perfectly free to save the chiefest of sinners and bestow His mercy on the vilest of the vile.”

-A.W Pink

A Word About Witnessing

Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. (Luke 8:39)

The Lord had shown great mercy to this poor sinner, setting him free from demons and from sin.  Now He tells him to go home to his family and friends and to be the Lord’s witness.  Do not go home and begin to preach.  Do not go home and take up the great doctrines of grace and expound them.  Do not go home and strive to bring everyone to your views and beliefs.  Do not go home and condemn all who do not see what you see.  Go home and tell them “what great things the Lord has done for you!” Not what great things you have read or heard, but what great things you have experienced!  This is the way to begin our witnessing- There is never a more interesting story, than the story a person has experienced, lived, and felt.  If you would really interest others and get their attention, tell them what great things the Lord has done in you and for you!

Notice the Lord said, “Tell them what great things THE LORD HATH DONE.” It is a story of free grace.  Not what we did, willed, or gave, but what He did for us by His own free, sovereign, undeserved love.  We will not convince them nor change them, anymore than another man could convert us.  But “THE LORD,” who did great things for us, can do great things for them if He is so pleased.  And He is pleased to use the faithful witness of those who go and tell “how great things the LORD hath done for thee.”

-Henry Mahan

If God Gives Up A People

When God is exceedingly displeased with a people, it is not necessary, in order to their punishment, that He should bury them alive by an earthquake, or destroy them by lightening.  If He only LEAVES THEM TO THEMSELVES, withdraws His blessings from their counsels, and His restraint from their passions, their ruin follows on course according to the necessary order and connection of causes and effects.

If God gives up a people to the way of their own hearts, they will, they must, perish!  When a general corruption of morals takes place, when private interest extinguishes all sense of public virtue, when a profligate and venal spirit has infected every rank and order of the state, when presumptuous security and dissipation increase as danger approaches; when, after repeated disappointments, contempt for God, and vain confidence in imagined resources of their own, grow bolder and bolder, then there is reason to fear that the sentence has already gone forth, and that the execution of it is at hand. 

-John Newton

God’s Providence

O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great . . . .

These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

Psalm 104:24, 25, 27-29

The providence of God is His care of and provision which He makes for His creatures; with His supervision and superintendence of them.  The providence of God in His government of the world is a subject of deep importance to the Christian, for by proper views thereof, he will learn to see God’s activities—in the daily works of His hands. Yet, though Christians assent to this truth, nevertheless they are prone to overlook it in exercise, and thereby to be deprived in great measure of that poise of mind and comfort of heart, which a deep and constant improvement of this doctrine is calculated to impart.

Nothing is more strengthening to faith, stabilizing to the mind, and tranquilizing to the heart of a Christian—than for him to be enabled to discern his Father’s hand guiding, shaping, and controlling everything which enters his life; and not only so, but that He is also governing this world, and all people and events in it.

Alas, we are living in an age of terrible skepticism, when most of what happens is attributed to natural causes, while God is more and more banished from the world, in the consideration of His creatures. It is not only a fact that God governs the world in a general sense, but He also regulates all its affairs, and controls all creatures in it, “working all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11) . . . .

God is not perturbed by anything that is now taking place in His world—either in its political, social, or religious sphere; nor should we be. The helm is still in His hand; and Satan himself cannot so much as touch a hair of our heads, without His direct permission . . . .

We ought to see the hand of God in the most trifling things. Nothing is so small as to be below His attention.

-A.W Pink

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