Public worship is a privilege that many believers are not able to enjoy as we do each week. I hope that you never fall into the subtle trap of having an apathetic, nonchalant attitude towards worship. Worship is food for our souls. But even more, it is an opportunity to praise, adore, and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Is there a greater privilege than this?
--- Pastor Doug Weaver
Without a due sense of predestination, we shall want the surest and the most powerful inducement to patience, resignation, and dependence on God under every spiritual and temporal affliction. How sweet must the following consideration be to a distressed believer!
(1) There most certainly exists an almighty, all-wise and infinitely gracious God. (2) He has given me in times past and is giving me at present (if I but had eyes to see it) many signal intimations of His love to me, both in a way of providence and grace. (3) This love of His is immutable; He never repents of it nor withdraws it. (4) Whatever comes to pass in time is the result of His will from everlasting; consequently, (5) my afflictions were a part of His original plan and are all ordered in number, weight, and measure. (6) The very hairs of my head are every one counted by Him, nor can a single hair fall to the ground but in consequence of His determination. Hence, (7) my distresses are not the result of chance, accident, or a fortuitous combination of circumstances, but (8) the providential accomplishment of God’s purpose and (9) designed to answer some wise and gracious ends; nor (10) shall my affliction continue a moment longer than God sees meet. (11) He who brought me to it has promised to support me under it and to carry me through it. (12) All shall, most assuredly, work together for His glory and my good; therefore, (13) “The cup which my heavenly Father hath given me to drink, shall I not drink it?” Yes, I will, in the strength He imparts, even rejoice in tribulation; and using the means of possible redress which He hath or may hereafter put into my hands, I will commit myself and the event to Him, whose purpose cannot be overthrown, whose plan cannot be disconcerted, and who, whether I am resigned or not, will still go on to work all things after the counsel of his own will.
Jerome Zanchius (1516-1590)
ALL WHO ARE BORN OF GOD DO NOT COMMIT SIN? HOW?
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
This verse does not teach any notion or idea of sinless perfection within a true believer. The Word of God does not teach that, and our own experience as sinners saved by God’s grace in Christ teaches that we have no sinless perfection within. This verse applies in two ways to all who are born again: (1) As we are IN CHRIST, for “ye know that HE was manifested to take away our sins; and IN HIM is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
Christ put away all the sins of His sheep by the shedding of His precious blood. No sin can be charged to us as we are washed in His blood and clothed in His righteousness (Rom. 8:31-34). Sin(s) cannot condemn us because “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). (2) We cannot sin in the sense of falling away unto eternal damnation, “for HIS seed (His children) remaineth IN HIM: and he (a true child of God) cannot sin (fall away), because he (a true child of God) is born of God” (1 John 3:9). We who are born of God CANNOT totally and finally leave Christ because HE will not let us go. He keeps us IN HIMSELF and FOR HIMSELF.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
THE GREATEST MESSAGE
Every time I read about, hear a sermon about, or think about what it is for a sinner such as myself to be justified before the Holy God, I say to myself, "That is the greatest thing in the universe, the greatest message I have ever heard or expect to hear." There is nothing that gives me hope, increases my faith, or motivates me toward my God like that blessed Good News. The thought of God choosing me, becoming a man, living under His own law in perfect obedience to establish righteousness as a man and imputing that righteousness to me -- oh, the wisdom and grace of God! The thought of Him dying on the cross at the hand of His own wrath to satisfy His justice for me and then revealing all this to me by His Spirit through the Gospel of His grace in Christ -- it is unbelievable -- too good to be true! But it is true, I do believe it and I do rejoice in it! Before God, in Christ, I am just like Christ! What amazing grace!