Don Fortner – Discovering Christ in all the Scriptures
“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
“What Do Ye More Than Others?”
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
THE GOSPEL DEFINED
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
Servants of the Most High God
“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 Foundations Be Destroyed…?”
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
Living Trees In the Death of Winter
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
Never Distinguish Tares From Wheat
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
The Lord’s Prayer
“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
The Errors of Lordship Salvation
Note: this is probably the longest article placed on our little blog, all of 83 pages long. Take your time to read and understand this serious error being taught today, a damnable heresy called Lordship Salvation. I have found this to be the most clear and explanatory article I have yet read about this serious error which is proving to be so popular in, so-called, Reformed circles. It is my prayer that this is of value to you, the reader, as it was for me.
The Errors of Lordship Salvation
By Pastor Kelly Sensenig
D L Moody told this story:
“An old man got up in one of our meetings and said, ‘I have been forty-two years learning three things.’ I pricked up my ears at that. I thought if I could find out in three minutes what a man had taken forty-two years to learn, I should like to do it. The first thing he said he had learned was that he could do nothing toward his own salvation. ‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘that is worth learning.’ The second thing he found out was that God did not require him to do anything. Well, that was worth finding out, too. And the third thing was that the Lord Jesus Christ had done it all, that salvation was finished, and that all he had to do was to take it.”
Can it be true that God does not require the sinner to do anything in order to be saved? Can it be true that God only asks a poor lost sinner to take salvation as a free gift? Can it be true that salvation does not require any previous commitment to following Christ or obedience? It is true because eternal life is called “the gift of God” (Rom. 6:23). It is true because salvation is called “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) and a person receives this gift “through faith” (not following). It is true since a sinner is only asked to “come” (Rev. 22:17) and “take the water of life freely” (not follow). It is true since salvation is offered freely “without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1). However, not everyone in the evangelical community would agree with this conclusion.
Those who embrace the teaching of Lordship Salvation would disagree and convey that a person must promise to follow Christ, obey Him, and make Christ Lord over area of his life before he can be saved. Lordship Salvation teaches there is a price or cost that is attached to salvation. In short, a person must meet the requirements for discipleship, become a follower of Christ, commit himself totally to Christ, step out to obey His commands, make Jesus Lord over area of his life, take the initiative to serve Christ, and comply with the conditions that Jesus requires for salvation, if he wants to be saved.
Lordship Salvation is a serious departure from the historic and Biblical teachings regarding the content of the Gospel message, old-fashion repentance, and simple faith in Christ. When this teaching is analyzed in the light of God’s Word it is found to be spurious and misleading. Lordship Salvation pertains to the area of a person’s salvation and specifically how a person is saved. For this reason it becomes a serious issue in relationship to what a person must do in order to be saved. It strikes at the very heart of the orthodox Christian faith. Continue reading
The Strong Man Armed — Bound and Cast Out
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:21-26)
From the beginning of time the prince of darkness has been at war with the Son of God, and the Son of God has been at war with him (Genesis 3; Isaiah 14; Revelation 12). It is a mutual conflict, a mutual enmity. It is ever the purpose of that fiend of hell and the myriads of demons ruled by him to topple the throne of God, usurp his authority, and destroy the souls of men. His principle weapon of warfare is religion — self-righteousness and will worship (2 Corinthians 11; Galatians 1:6-9).
But the fiend of hell, that old serpent, the devil shall accomplish nothing. He is God’s devil. He is by the omnipotent power of Christ forced into servitude. And soon he shall be cast into hell, crushed beneath our Savior’s feet and ours. Yes, he shall be crushed beneath the feet of us, poor, weak mortals he seeks to destroy (Romans 16:20). Continue reading
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”
There are some people among the fallen sons of Adam whom God almighty has purposed to save. They are called “his own sheep.” These sheep are sinners loved of God with an everlasting love, chosen by him unto salvation, and redeemed by Christ the Good Shepherd. They shall, each of them, be called to life and faith in Christ by the power of God’s irresistible grace at his appointed time and preserved in him unto everlasting glory.
Sheep and Goats
According to the Word of God, the whole human race is divided into two categories: sheep and goats. Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep. Our Lord plainly tells us that some men and women are his sheep; and some are not his sheep. Some are goats (Matthew 25:31-33; John 10:16, 26). This division of the human race was made in eternity in God’s sovereign purpose of grace in eternal election. He chose some to salvation and passed by others.
This division is made manifest in time, at the time of love, when the sheep are called by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel to life and faith in Christ. The call of the Spirit and our resulting faith in Christ do not make the division or make us sheep; but the call of God and the gift of faith in Christ make the division manifest, and make it manifest that we are Christ’s sheep, chosen, redeemed, and called by grace.
This division of the human race is a permanent, immutable division. — Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep.
Lost and Found Continue reading
Who are the Hebrews? The Israel of God
Every promise of God in Holy Scripture, every covenant blessing is made to one race, only one. Every prophecy in the Book of God concerns the welfare of one nation, only one. And I assure you that few people in this world have a clue who that race and that nation is. This will come as a shock to many, but it needs to be shouted from the housetop: — God is not a Jew, an American, a Democrat, or even a Republican.
There is only one nation in which the God of Glory is interested, only one nations whose interests are his interests, and that nation is “The Israel of God” (Gal. 6:14), “the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Read 1 Peter 1:9-10. Here the Holy Spirit clearly identifies that race and nation upon which the very heart of the triune God is fixed and has been fixed from eternity.
(1 Peter 2:9-10) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (10) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
Let’s read Exodus 3:15-18 together. Continue reading