“He shall not fail!” — That simply means that the Christ of God must and shall accomplish all that he came to accomplish as the Surety of his people.
Within these Walls, Dear Savior, Show – Don Fortner (Tune: # 414 Am I A Soldier? -- CM ) Within these walls, dear Savior, show The wonders of Your grace, Enable us to worship You, And show Your smiling face.
Pour out Your Spirit, grace, and pow’r, Make bare Your mighty arm. Come, set poor captive sinners free, And bring Your lost ones home.
Oh, may the watchman, taught of God, Jehovah’s love proclaim, Declare Christ’s sin-atoning blood, And magnify His name!
Make known to Your bless’d family The wonders of Your love, And fix Your children’s hearts, dear Lord, Upon those things above.
4 Preaching — God’s Definition
“So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8)
You will not find a clearer, more direct definition of preaching than is here given by God the Holy Spirit. “Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose.” Standing upon this elevated pulpit above the people (so that he could be seen and heard by all), Ezra lifted up praises to the Lord God and led the people of God in the reverent worship of Jehovah our Savior. Then we are told that Ezra and those who preached with him on this great day did three things, three things that every preacher must do every time he stands to speak to eternity bound sinners in the name of God.
“They read in the Book in the law of God distinctly.”
If we would preach to immortal souls in the name of God, let us preach the Book of God. If we would preach the Book of God, we must read the Word of God in our assemblies. In this house of worship we meet three times a week. At every worship service, either one of our men or I read a lengthy portion of Holy Scripture. To my knowledge, we have not had a worship service in more than thirty-two years without the public reading of the Scriptures. This public reading of Holy Scripture is as important as our congregational singing and prayer. Notice that Ezra and his assistants in worship read the Word of God “distinctly”. Let us do the same. Before reading a portion of Scripture in public, the man reading should go over that portion in private, reading it many times in preparation for the public worship service, so that he may read it “distinctly”. When we read the Word of God in public worship (or lead the congregation in prayer), we should do so “distinctly”, carefully pronouncing each word with clarity and speaking with sufficient volume to be heard. There is no point in having public prayer or a public reading of the Word if the man speaking cannot be heard and heard “distinctly”.
“And gave the sense.”
How blessed we are when God sends a man to speak to our hearts by his Word who gives us the meaning of God’s Word! To give the sense of any portion of Scripture is to expound the text, giving out the meaning of the text as it stands in the Book of God. Preaching is not telling people what you think about a passage, or what a passage reminds you of, or how you think a passage applies to modern life! To preach the Word of God is to faithfully give the message of God the Holy Spirit in the text. The only way a preacher can do that is by diligent preparation, prayer, and study.
“And caused them to understand the reading.”
If the people to whom we preach do not understand what we preach, if they are not by our preaching caused to understand the Word of God, then our preaching is utterly meaningless. The man called and sent of God to preach the gospel is “apt to teach”, gifted of God to cause those who hear him to understand the Word of God. He preaches with such simplicity and boldness that no one can misunderstand what he preaches.
5 Does the Bible teach the doctrine of election? Romans 9:11-23
Does the Word of God teach the doctrine of election? If the Bible teaches it, believers bow to it, believe it, and rejoice in it. We do not have and do not want to have the option of believing what we want to believe. We believe God. If the Word of God teaches this doctrine, it matters not who opposes it, all believers bow to it. If God does not teach this doctrine in his Word, then we must reject it and denounce it, no matter who believes it, no matter who teaches it.
I ask only that you read the Word of God. Let God speak for himself. Let God be true, and every man a liar. This is the question: -- Does the Bible teach election? I will not attempt to show you this doctrine in the Old Testament, though it is written upon every page of it. Adam had two sons. God chose one and passed by the other. There were untold millions in the earth in Noah’s day; but Noah alone found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Abraham had two sons. God chose one and passed by the other. God chose the nation of Israel to be his peculiar people, and passed by all the other nations of the world. God gave his law to Israel alone, sent his prophets (with rare exception) to Israel alone, and established his worship in Israel alone. But it will suffice for us to begin in the Book of Matthew and simply read some of what the New Testament says about election. I have selected only those passages of Scripture where the very words elect, elected, election, chosen, and ordained are used. I deliberately left out those numerous texts where the doctrine of election is only, by necessity, implied. In these texts it is plainly stated by Divine inspiration! Read them for yourself (Matthew 24:24, 31; Mark 13:20; John 13:18; 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:33; 11:5, 7; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2; 2:9; 5:13).
The Word of God makes no attempt to explain how God can be righteous and just in showing mercy to whom he will, while passing by whom he will. In fact, rather than answering such carping objections from unbelieving men, the Apostle Paul simply says, God does things this way because God has determined to do things this way (Romans 9:11-23).
Without question, the Book of God teaches the glorious, gospel doctrine of election. No honest person can even question that fact. Anyone who denies that the Bible teaches this doctrine is either totally ignorant of the Word of God, or a liar. In either case, such a person has no business attempting to teach others.
Since it is obvious, unmistakably obvious that the Scriptures teach this doctrine, a second question must be answered. — What does the Bible teach about election? Election is God’s sovereign, eternal choice and purpose of grace toward his people in Christ, by which their salvation was secured and guaranteed before the world began. Election is “in Christ.” It is “unto salvation,” an act of absolute sovereignty that took place in eternity. The source and cause of election is God’s eternal love for his people. Election is God’s personal choice of specific sinners to eternal life in Christ. It is unconditional, irreversible, effectual, distinguishing (Isaiah 43:1-4), and blessed. Election is the cause of all blessedness (Psalm 65:4; Ephesians 1:3-6; 1 Corinthians 4:7).
6 THE GRACE BULLETIN
June 10, , 2012
GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH of DANVILLE 2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438 Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
Sunday 10:00 A.M. Bible Classes 10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service 6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service