“Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9)
The Apostle Paul tells us that among the fallen, depraved, lost, condemned ruins of humanity “there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). And he assures us that that “remnant shall be saved” (Romans 9:27).
With men a remnant is something leftover, waste material, material for which there is no plan, purpose, or intended use. With God it is exactly opposite. God’s remnant is the kernel; everything else is husk. God’s remnant is that for which all things were planned and purposed. Without that elect remnant, everything else would be useless.
It was true in Isaiah’s time and it is true today, that the Church and people of the living God are a poor, needy remnant, a remnant scattered among the nations, an elect remnant, a redeemed remnant, a protected remnant, but a remnant still. We are God’s remnant in Christ’s hands, under Christ’s care. The God of all grace deals with a remnant. He seeks a remnant. He builds his house with a remnant. His treasure is a remnant.
This remnant is Christ’s seed in the earth that shall serve him, the generation accounted to the Lord to serve him (Psalm 22:30), Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. — The remnant is God’s elect, Continue reading
God almighty is never put in a bind. He is never compelled by circumstances to change his mind, or alter his purpose. With regard to the salvation of his elect, God’s purpose is crystal clear. There is a multitude of sinners in this world, scattered through all the nations of the world, whom God has chosen to save from eternity (Eph. 1:3-6). The Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed that chosen multitude by the shedding of his blood and obtained eternal redemption for them (Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12). At the appointed time of love, God the Holy Spirit will regenerate and call each of those chosen, redeemed sinners, by effectual, irresistible grace, creating life and faith in them (Psa. 65:4). The means by which he will do this is the preaching of the gospel (1 Pet. 1:23-25). And those by whom God is pleased to send the gospel, through the world, are men, Continue reading
I cannot imagine any crime against another person which is more cowardly, despicable, and inexcusable than slander and gossip – backbiting. While such behavior is common and expected among the reprobate, there is no place for it in the kingdom of God.
Many who look down their noses with scorn upon fornicators, adulterers, and whoremongers, are guilty of this hideous offense. They think nothing of slandering another, attempting to murder his character, indeed, they seize every opportunity to do so. If Romans 1:28-32 means anything, it means that such people do not know God. Their character is the character of the reprobate. Backbiting men and women are proud, envious, little rebels, people who cannot be trusted in any area of life.
They are the pawns of Satan, used to disrupt the peace of God’s church and kingdom. Continue reading
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42 )
That which separates the truth from a mere religion is that the truth concerns a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. This may seem a trite and worn out phrase, but it is true that salvation is a Person, not a doctrine. The longer I preach, the more I see the importance this distinction.
There are doubtless many who would find fault with such a generalization saying that one cannot preach without preaching doctrine. In this they would be correct, for doctrine is simply teaching. I would be impossible to preach the Person without preaching doctrine. However, it is quite easy to preach doctrine and never preach the Person.
Allow me to illustrate: Truth is, in some ways like a jigsaw puzzle. A jigsaw puzzle is made of many parts, each one important. The puzzle could not be complete if any individual part were missing. Yet, we all realize that the value of such a puzzle does not lie in the individual pieces, but in the image that is made when all these pieces are joined together in their proper relationship. Even though an unassembled jigsaw puzzle contains the very same materials and pieces as an assembled one, we recognize that there is a great difference between the two: the assembled puzzle gives us an image, a picture to enjoy. An unassembled puzzle is just a box of cardboard pieces.
The truth of God is similar: It is made of many parts, each one important. Yet the value of these parts lies not in themselves, but in the image they create when “assembled” through preaching. All the doctrines of the Scriptures are pieces of a Divine “puzzle” which, when assembled, provide us with an image of the Lord Jesus. One may emphasise the various individual “pieces” of this puzzle, and become quite expert in them, and never see the image which they were designed to create. As the Lord said to the Pharisees:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39) Continue reading
Pastor Fortner’s Devotional
Day by Day
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“Go through the whole Bible in a year with a daily reading scheme and a devotional portion for each section read. Pastor Fortner’s clear emphasis on the sovereign grace of God in Christ is always on view. He shows how the Lord Jesus is present in type, prophecy, and picture throughout the whole of the Bible. An excellent daily reading book with the added benefit of covering the whole of God’s Word in one year.” — Publisher
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Let it be clearly established that we who believe are justified by grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone,without the works of the law.The Lord Jesus Christ earned and obtained justification for all his people by his obedience to God as our Representative and by his sin-atoning death as our Substitute (Heb. 9:12; Rom. 4:25). We were legally reconciled to God in justification by the death of his Son (Rom.5:10). Justification is also an act of God’s free grace (Rom. 3:24) Continue reading
Text: Romans 1:1-7, 16-17
Subject: Paul’s Definition of the Gospel
Date: Sunday Morning – April 23 , 2000 (The Audio is dated 2/2/2014 )
Tape # V-79a
Reading: Romans 1:1-17
Should you go to the street corner of any city in this country and ask those who passed by, or stand upon the doorsteps of almost any church building and ask folks as they left the church house this morning, “What is the gospel?” you would get a different answer from almost every person. Almost all people define the gospel by their own experiences, thoughts, and emotions, by their church creed, or by an opinion handed down to them by someone else. The vast majority of men and women are not terribly dogmatic about what the gospel is, and acknowledge that one person’s opinion, or one churches teaching is really as good as another.
However, if you open the Word of God, you will very quickly discover that this blessed Book everywhere asserts that there is only one gospel, and that every rival gospel is a false gospel. Granted, the gospel is called by many different names in the New Testament.
- The Gospel of God
- The Gospel of the Kingdom
- The Gospel of Christ
- The Gospel of the Grace of God
- The Gospel of Peace
- The Glorious Gospel of Christ
- The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God
Still, there is but one gospel, one gospel which we must believe, if we would be saved. All other gospels are false gospels and, therefore, no gospel at all. The Apostle Paul tells us plainly that all who preach a false gospel are false prophets, and all who believe a false gospel are damned by the gospel they believe. Continue reading
The conversion of an inventor of false doctrine has never yet been heard of; for a sin such as this is too great, because it blasphemes God’s Word and sins against the Holy Ghost. This is why God lets inventors of false doctrine become hardened. Accordingly, the word of Is. 6:9 is fulfilled: With seeing eyes you shall not see, and with hearing ears you shall not hear; for the heart of this people is hardened. Continue reading
“These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation (Acts 16:17).”
The natural man is a terribly proud creature—selfish, self-confident, self-important, and self-sufficient. He lives in bondage to sin, Satan, and self; worships and serves the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). He cringes at the very thought of serving any master other than himself and finds the thought of serving God especially distasteful; however, there are some people in this world whom God delivers from the bondage of self-service. They, and they alone, have been, are being, and will be, delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Speaking of the deliverance of God’s elect, the apostle Paul says, Continue reading
If the roof is blown off of your house in a tornado, it will cause you trouble, grief, and expense. But there is no cause for despair. If one of the walls of this building were to be torn off in a storm, it would require our time, labor, and money to replace it. But it could be replaced soon enough. Indeed, we once saw building collapse, like a pile of toothpicks, during a winter storm. It was a frustrating and costly ordeal. But soon the walls were again raised. However, if by some terrible earthquake, the foundations of the building were broken up and destroyed, then all would be hopelessly lost and ruined.
The Immovable Foundations of Our Faith Continue reading
But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
(Isaiah 6:13 KJV)
Title: Living Trees In the Death of Winter
Text: Isaiah 6:13
Subject: Believer’s Compared to Leafless Trees
Date: Sunday Evening – September 3, 1989
Have you ever noticed how frequently the Word of God refers to believers as trees?
Numbers 24:6 – We are described “As gardens by the riverside, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedar trees beside the waters.”
Psalm 1:3 – The believer is compared to “a tree that is planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season,” whose leaf shall not wither.
Psalm 52:8 – David sings, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.”
Psalm 92:12 – “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age: they shall be fat and flourishing.”
Isaiah 61:3 – Believers are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
All of these passages of scripture tell us five things about every child of God in this world. Find a believer anywhere in the world, and you will find one of whom these five things are true. Continue reading
Mercy and love, kindness and encouragement, forgiveness and patience are things we all constantly want and need from others. Shall we not constantly bestow them upon others? Continue reading
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.” (John 17:1-26)
In these 26 verses of Holy Scripture we have the high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, as he was about to enter into the Holy of Holies in Heaven, with his own blood, to obtain eternal redemption for his people.
Our blessed Savior left us the full text of this prayer. He prayed frequently while he was here on the earth in our flesh; but this is the only prayer of our Lord Jesus that is recorded in its entirety. This is Christ our God-man Mediator, our great High Priest, praying to the heavenly Father on our behalf, interceding for us. He left us the full text of this prayer as an example of his intercession, which even now he carries on for his people at the Father’s right hand.
The Scripture says that when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and was buried and raised again that he ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. There he prays or makes intercession for his people. This prayer is the prayer of our High Priest, our Mediator, which he is praying for us at this moment, as he makes intercession for us in heaven (Romans 8:34).
In Hebrews 7:25, we read that, “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” So, this is the prayer of the great High Priest, the one Mediator between God and men. The Scripture says, “There is one God and one Mediator,” one who prays for us and only one. That is our Lord Jesus Christ. This is his effectual prayer of intercession.
It is the Lord Jesus himself who is praying here. The fact that he prayed, prayed often, and prayed earnestly ought to encourage us to pray (Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer doesn’t change God or change the will of God. It finds the will of God. Prayer not only finds the will of God, it bows us to the will of God. Prayer rejoices in the will of God and changes us, causing us to know and to follow the will of God. If our Master prayed, his servants certainly ought to pray.
Three Statements Continue reading