To deny the absolute efficacy of Christ’s sin-atoning blood is to deny his very deity. If Jesus Christ died to redeem some whom he fails to save by his grace, he is not God.
Our Eternal Union with Christ – John Kent (Tune: # 77 Sun of My Soul -- LM)
“Twixt Jesus and the chosen race, Subsists a bond of sovereign grace, That hell, with its infernal train, Shall ne’er dissolve nor rend in twain!
This sacred bond shall never break, Though earth should to her center shake; Rest, doubting saint, assured of this, For God has pledged his holiness.
Hail, sacred union, firm and strong! How great the grace! How sweet the song! That worms of earth should ever be One with incarnate Deity!
This sacred tie forbids their fears, For all he is or has is theirs: With him, their Head, they stand or fall – Their Life, their Surety, their All.
Blessed be the wisdom and the grace, The eternal love and faithfulness, That’s in the gospel-scheme revealed, And is by God the Spirit sealed.
1 “How can I know if I am one of God’s elect?” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
I am often asked, “How can I know that I am one of God’s elect?” The question is often asked; but it is a question that should never be asked. It should not be a matter of concern to anyone. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, he spoke confidently to God’s saints there about the indisputable fact of their election. He said, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” Paul gave thanks to God for them, for their faith in Christ, for their love to one another, and for the other manifold blessings of God’s grace upon them, because he knew that all these things must be traced to their election unto salvation by God.
This blessed, glorious, gospel doctrine of election is one of the most delightful things revealed in the gospel. Believers rejoice in it. But precious, delightful, and important as this doctrine is, it is not the first thing to be learned. We preach this doctrine without apology. I preach it everywhere I go. We teach it in our Bible classes, beginning with the toddlers. We are not in the least bashful about proclaiming God’s free, sovereign, and eternal electing love.
However, it is not our mission in this world to convince people that the doctrine of election is true. You can go to hell believing election as well as another goes to hell denying it. Our mission is to get sinners to believe, trust, and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Any sinner who bows to Christ as Lord will have no problem with the doctrine of election.
The first question to be settled in your heart and mind is not, “Am I one of the elect?” It is impossible for anyone to determine that until the matter of first importance is settled. — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you a believer? That is the matter of first importance. Until this matter is settled, this matter of your own, personal responsibility before God is settled, all questions, even thoughts about election, are at best irrelevant, and are probably an attempt on your part to push aside the demands of the gospel.
If you trust the Son of God, if you, as a poor, helpless, guilty, bankrupt sinner, trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your Savior and Lord, your faith in him is the fruit and evidence of your election. It is written, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life!” “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God!” So I ask you again, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
The first thing to be learned is faith in Christ. Where faith is found in the heart, election is believed and loved. But many believe, defend, and even preach the doctrine of election who do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you refuse to trust Christ, if you will not bow to him as your only Lord, trust him as your only Redeemer and Savior, if you refuse to “believe on the Son of God,” you will perish in your sins and your eternal damnation will be just, because you “believe not the record that God gave of his Son.”
2 Too Important
“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I [am] doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, and the Jews’ enemies heard that Nehemiah was being used of God to build the walls of Jerusalem, that there was no breach left in the wall, they were determined to undermine the work and destroy Nehemiah’s usefulness, and destroy the work God raised him up to perform. Sanballat and Geshem sent word to God’s servant, calling him to come down from the work Jehovah had trusted to his hands and meet with them.
These men were not interested in Nehemiah, his work, the glory of God, the people of God, or the house of God. They had no interest except themselves. Therefore they tried to do Nehemiah mischief by getting him to come down to them. Nehemiah was not taken by their snare. He refused to stoop to the level of his foes. He would not come down to them. His reasoning was magnificent. — “I [am] doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?”
Every servant of God in every age would be wise to follow Nehemiah’s example. I say to every man called of God to preach the gospel, let no one turn you aside from the work to which God has called you. There is no work on this earth so great, so needful, so magnificent as the preaching of the gospel of Christ. It is ours to seek the Lord’s sheep, to bring Christ to sinners and bring sinners to Christ, to serve God’s elect, to build his church and his kingdom. We must devote ourselves entirely to this great work, and renew that devotion with every rising sun, for there are many devices by which Satan would call us down from the wall; and he makes them all appear to be both legitimate and needful.
Controversies arise and we feel compelled to put them down. Why? We try to convince ourselves and others that it is for the glory of God. But if nothing is to be gained for the good of men’s souls, if nothing is brought forward to comfort and edify God’s saints, if nothing is done for the salvation of poor, lost sinners, how is God glorified? Leave the controversies alone and preach the gospel.
Another ploy of the devil is slander. When wicked men, like Sanballat, feign out of their own wicked hearts (Nehemiah 6:9) slanderous accusations against you, ignore them. Do not attempt to defend the honor of your name. Our business is the honor of God’s name. You can never defend yourself from the assaults of men without leaving the work God has trusted to your hands, without laying aside the work of the gospel (prayer and study) to do so.
How many Satan has pulled off the wall of service in the cause of Christ by the “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” (Mark 4:19). The children need more things, your wife needs more attention or you crave property, financial security, or a little ease of life, those legitimate things other men pursue. All those things you can have, if you want them; but not without coming down and leaving the work God has given you. 3 THE GRACE BULLETIN
June 3, 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