Fellowship Dinner after the Service. No Service tonight.
I sing this hymn of praise to Thee,
Thou God Who lovest me.
Your love is from eternity,
Particular and free.
Before time your love was given,
Though man is dead in sin.
You sent Your Son to bring them in.
He came in flesh for them.
Undeserving of His great love,
Yet, chosen from above.
Christ came to shed His precious blood
For those chosen in love.
Christ Jesus crossed out path one day.
He called us to His Way.
He knew that in our sin we lay.
His love touched us that day.
There's never been a passing day
Your love for me did stray.
Your Sov'reign Grace arranged my way
Unto the Perfect Day.
Our God of love Who first loved us
Through His own Son, Jesus
Is Sur-e-ty as was promised,
On His hand engraved us
By Gary Spreacker
(Tune: ‘Majestic Sweetness’ Pg.52)
Infants – by John Newton
I think it at least highly probable, that when our Lord says, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 19:14) He does not only intimate the necessity of our becoming like little children in simplicity, as a qualification without which (as He expressly declares in other places) we cannot enter into His kingdom, but informs us of a fact, that the number of infants who effectually redeemed to God by his blood, so greatly exceeds the aggregate of adult believers, that comparatively speaking, His kingdom may be said to consist of little children. The apostle speaks of them as not having “sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression,” (Romans 5:14) that is, with the consent of their understanding and will. And when he says, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,” he adds, “that every man may give an account of what he has done in the body, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) But children who die in their infancy have not done anything in the body, either good or bad. It is true they are by nature evil, and must, if saved, be the subjects of a supernatural change. And though we cannot conceive how this change is to be wrought, yet I suppose few are so rash as to imagine it impossible that any infants can be saved. The same power that produces this change in some, can produce it in all; and therefore I am willing to believe, till the Scripture forbids me, that infants, of all nations and kindred’s, without exception, who die before they are capable of sinning after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who have done nothing in the body of which they can give an account, are included in the election of grace. They are born for a better world than this; they just enter this state of tribulation; they quickly pass through it; “their robes are washed white in the blood of the Lamb,” and they are admitted, for his sake, before the throne. Should I be asked to draw the line, to assign the age at which children begin to be accountable for actual sin, it would give me no pain to confess my ignorance. “The Lord knoweth.”
CONVERSATION REGARDING MAN’S FREE-WILL
Dr. John Gill was preaching some years ago on the natural depravity and spiritual inability of man. A gentleman who heard the sermon was greatly offended; and, taking an opportunity some time after, calling on the doctor, told him that in his opinion he had degraded that noble being, man, and laid him much too low. “Pray, sir,” answered the doctor, “how much do you think can men contribute toward their own conversion and salvation?” “Man can do such and such things” replied the gentleman, reckoning up a whole string of free-will abilities. “And have you done all this for yourself?” said the doctor. “Why no, I cannot say I have yet, but I hope I shall begin soon.” “If you really have these things, in your power,” replied the doctor, “and have not done them for yourself, you deserve to be doubly damned; and are but ill qualified to stand up for that imaginary free-will, which, according to your own confession, has done you so little good. However, after you have made yourself spiritually whole (if ever you find yourself able to do it), be kind enough to come and let me know how you went about it. For at present I know but of one remedy for human depravation, namely, the efficacious grace of him who worketh in men both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.”
~~~ O ~~~
Knowledge or Love
Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
1 Cor. 8:1
It is impossible to have fellowship with anyone who has great head knowledge of doctrine, but has not the love of Christ shed abroad in their heart. They will want to argue with you, but never rejoice with you. They will find fault with you, but never comfort you. They will defend their positions, but never just declare Christ crucified with love for those who hear. Even among those who agree on doctrine, there will always be a hair to split, a nit to pick, but never real fellowship. And Paul here, with a word from God almighty, has given us the reason. Only Christ will do.