PREACHING CHRIST

 

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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

New Pocketsize Edition – Discovering Christ Day by Day

Pastor Fortner’s Devotional

 

Discovering Christ

Day by Day

 

New Pocketsize Edition

From GO Publications

 

This is a beautiful soft-bound tan/brown edition designed to slip in a purse or jacket pocket. It includes a place marking ribbon and a gift presentation page.

New Pocketsize Edition

“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

North American Orders

 

S18.00 per copy plus $3.00 Shipping and Handling

 

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Are There Many Races or One?

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The Table of Nations: Are There Many Races or One?
Genesis 1-11
By Voddie Baucham

Join me if you will in Genesis 10 and as we said when we thought about preaching through the first 11 chapters of Genesis there were several places that sort of gave us pause. And one of the places was Genesis 10.

What do you do when you get to Genesis 10 and the table of nations?

But we are committed to systematic exposition and one of the things that means is just

like in our reading of Scripture. I am sure if you are a guest with us and you haven’t been with us and you don’t really know about what we do and what we are committed to in worship, well, one of the things we are committed to is that the Bible says to give

attention to the public reading of Scripture. And so we read systematically through Scripture. And we will read in the Old Testament and we will read in the New Testament and we will take a book and we will read through the book. And so right now we are reading through Exodus.

And a lot of people sit there and they have never been with us and we are in Exodus 26 and they are going, “Huh,” wondering how they are going to tie this in to everything that they are doing in the…

We don’t tie it in. We are just committed to the systematic reading of Scripture. And if we believe that all Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work,”1 then what part of Scripture would be inappropriate to read in worship?  Well, none.

1  See 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Do we really believe that?  Well, most times we don’t. That’s why most of us have never been in a church where Exodus 26 has ever been read. Amen?  But we read systematically through the Scripture. We read, you know, Revelation, the next week we will read Revelation 22 and then we will find another New Testament book and we will read through it from the beginning to the end.

We preach systematically. So right now we are preaching Genesis one through 11. Most times you don’t tackle Genesis chapter 10, the table of nations, lists of names. Amen, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord. Make you just want to get up and shout and do the Hallelujah Holy Ghost dance, all right, reading lists of names. Continue reading

My Rock and my Salvation

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Psalms 62 
If (by the grace of God) I can learn a two-fold lesson, my attitude will so totally change that I can never be the same again. That lesson is found in verse one of this Psalm—‘My soul waiteth upon God’ and ‘From him cometh my salvation.’

1. What do I do? I wait as a disciple on my Lord’s command. I wait as a bondslave at my master’s feet. I wait as clay, submissive and surrendered in the potter’s hand (Rom_9:20-23).

2. On whom do I wait? I wait on the sovereign, all-wise Lord, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will (Eph_1:9-12), on my heavenly Father, who loves me and works all things together for my good (Rom_8:28).

3. How do I wait? I wait ‘truly,’ or sincerely and silently. I wait only upon him. Note the repeated use of the word ‘only’ in Psa_62:2; Psa_62:5-6.

4. What are the results of my seeking, looking, and waiting upon God? ‘From him cometh my salvation’ from the law’s curse, from the judgment of sin, from the sting of death, and from all condemnation (Rom_8:1).

Psa_62:2; Psa_62:6. ‘He only is my rock and my salvation.’ This is the sum and substance of the Bible. I can find in the scripture no other doctrine than ‘salvation is of the Lord.’ The ‘salvation of the righteous is of the Lord’ (Jon_2:9; Psa_3:8; Psa_37:39; 2Th_2:13). Moses exhorted the people to ‘stand still (wait) and see the salvation of the Lord.’ It pleased the Lord to make us his people (1Sa_12:22); it pleased the Lord to bruise Christ in our stead (Isa_53:10); it pleased the Lord to reveal Christ in us (Gal_1:15); it pleased the Lord by the gospel to save those who believe (1Co_1:21). He only is our rock and refuge! That, rock (typically and literally) is Christ (1Co_10:4; Isa_28:16). Christ is our defense against all charges and condemnation (Rom_8:33-34), for he of God is made unto us all we need (1Co_1:30). Continue reading

The Doctrines of Grace

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The Doctrines of Grace

TOTAL DEPRAVITY — We believe that all men since the fall of Adam are both guilty and helpless as sinners. All men are born with a sinful nature. All men are guilty of sin. All men are spiritually dead in sin. All men are helplessly lost by nature (Romans 3:9-19; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3).

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION — God sovereignly chose the people whom He would save before the world began, not because of anything good which He foresaw in them, but simply according to His own good pleasure (John 15:16; Romans 9:11-13; Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:9).

LIMITED ATONEMENT — We believe, according to the Scriptures that the Lord Jesus Christ died for and redeemed only His own elect, those who are actually saved by His grace. He did not die in vain, for those who perish under the justice of God; but He actually accomplished the redemption of His people. The benefits of Christ’s atonement are limited to the elect of God, according to God’s own purpose. Christ died for a particular people and effectually satisfied the justice of God for those people, guaranteeing their eternal salvation (Isaiah 53:8; John 10:11; Hebrews 9:12).

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE — God the Holy Spirit regenerates those sinners who were chosen by God and redeemed by Christ, and calls them to Christ, creating faith in their hearts by irresistible grace and power. All who are effectually called by the Holy Spirit, do come to Christ in faith (Psalm 65:4; 110:3; John 6:37-40; Romans 9:16).

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS — All true believers shall continue in the faith, persevere in grace, and inherit eternal glory, being preserved by the power and grace of God in Christ. Not one chosen, redeemed, regenerate sinner shall perish. Grace cannot allow it! (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:29-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

These blessed truths of the Gospel we believe and preach to the glory of God and for the salvation of sinners through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Don Fortner

HL : http://www.gracegems.org/D/doctrines_of_grace.htm

The Apostle Paul: a product of Free-willism, or saved by Sovereign Grace?

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Grant Swart

If God hides our sin or lessens it, He is faulty; if He leaves it still upon us, we die. He must then take our iniquity to Himself, make it His own, and so deliver us; for thus having taken the sin upon Himself, as lawfully He may and lovingly He does, it follows that we live if He lives; and who can desire more?

 – John Bunyan

These represent a few notes from my evening of contemplating the biblical attitude which should be adopted toward the free-will worldly attitude of those advocates trying to  impress God. 

I certainly did not “choose”, summon or influence Christ, nor did I ever make a decision “for” Him. I never did anything good and, according to my own ability, I never will. I can never be a better person “for” Christ. I never sought God, I never understood God (Rom 3:11). I never called out to God in a way which could have encouraged Him to come running to my eternal aid. He reached out and grabbed me when I was dying, because He willed it to be so.

I am and will always be a sinner, I am worth no more today than I was before God called me to Himself, save for the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am satisfied, humbled and overjoyed at what Christ did for me, when I least of all people deserved to be saved. I desire nothing more, I require nothing more, I do not need to, nor can I ever,  convince anyone of the facts. I have Christ, God Himself, who gave Himself for me. I did not pay for my salvation in part, I did not work for it, it was given freely to me by my Christ, who paid for it in full. There are no refunds, what is finished (John 19:30), cannot be made unfinished.

Throughout all of the Apostle Paul’s post- salvational life, he never denied nor tried to deny the truth of what he was. He consistently referred to his previous self-righteousness, opposition and hatred toward God (1 Tim 1:13). He made it clear that, even after his salvation, he remained just as wickedly sinful and incapable of doing enough to please God, as he had been before the day on the road to Damascus. He referred to that by saying: “O wretched man that I am” (Rom. 7:24). Continue reading

‘By grace are ye saved’

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2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,

Read Ephesians 2:1-10

The entire work of salvation, all that is involved in bringing a sinner from the dungheap of fallen humanity into the eternal glory of heaven, is accomplished by the free and sovereign grace of God. ‘Works’ is a dirty word among believers. And ‘merits’ is a foreign word to God’s church, not found in our vocabulary. From the foundation stone to the top stone, we cry nothing else but ‘Grace, grace unto it.’

Language could not be clearer. Paul tells us that if any man is saved it is altogether by grace. It is written in the Word of God: ‘God hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ In Ephesians 1 Paul ascribes our salvation entirely to the three persons of the sacred Trinity. Continue reading