Birthdays: Jackie Renfroe – July 28th – Jake Jones – July 30th
"LOOKING UNTO JESUS"
" Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). My friend, salvation is in "looking unto Jesus." It is not in looking unto baptism, looking unto morality, looking unto church membership, looking unto keeping the commandments, looking unto living by the golden rule, or looking unto coming to church. It is looking unto Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King. It is looking unto Him alone. It is not in looking unto your humility or obedience, but in looking unto Him who "humbled Himself and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross." It is looking unto His blood and righteousness for cleansing from sin and acceptance with God. It is looking unto Him as God who is almighty to save. It is looking unto Him as Man who lived, suffered, bled, died and arose that God might be a just God and a Savior. It is looking unto Him as the only Mediator between sinful men and a holy God. It is looking unto Him and not unto yourself. "Look unto Me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none other" (Isaiah 45:22). I’ve had people say various things over the years about their desire for assurance of salvation. "I don’t think I feel my sin enough." Stop looking to your feelings and \pard softlinelook to Christ. "I don’t think I have repented enough." Stop looking to your repentance and look to Christ. "I don’t think I have wept enough." Stop looking to your tears and look to Christ. May the Holy Spirit turn the eyes of the soul away from everything else and enable you to simply, truly, whole-heartedly look unto Jesus Christ alone for life, for salvation, for acceptance, for pardon and for righteousness. "And ye are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10).
--- PastorJim Byrd
THE JUSTICE OF GRACE
It is an amazing characteristic of grace that the justice of God which once stood against us as sinners alienated from God, now stands for us as those who have been reconciled to God in Christ Jesus. These words of Augustus Toplady ring true to the scriptures. "Justice cannot twice demand, payment at my bleeding surety's hand...and then again at mine"It is the justice of the thrice Holy that stands to guarantee our continued security before the law and throne of God. John tells us that all confessing sinners are cleansed from all sin and that God is "faithful and JUST to forgive us our sins." God's justice demands the forgiveness of all the sins of those for whom Christ died. This because His death for sin actually put away sin by satisfying all that the justice of God required, which was death. "It is Christ that died..." Can justice allow any for whom He died to be condemned? Can justice require payment at the hands of the Substitute and then require it again at the hands of those He represents? NO! This cannot be. Justice that must demand the death of every soul that sins must also demand the full justification of every soul whose sins are made an end of in the dying of Christ. Justice sees all who are in Christ as Christ Himself. Such is the true nature of imputation. All believers are seen by divine justice as being in Christ because they are in Christ! I suppose it could be said that justice is the backbone of grace, giving it strength, applying the full benefits of Christ's work to every object of God's grace. Justice upholds the integrity of God's sovereignty in grace. He will have mercy to whom He will have mercy and be gracious to whom He will be gracious. Someone may rise to say "that's not fair." To which justice immediately replies, "God can do with His own what He will and if He leaves some men to face the consequences of their sin, He is just in doing so. But He must set free every sinner redeemed by Christ's blood because I've been satisfied and honored." Justice found a sweet satisfaction for my sin in the bloody sacrifice of Christ and by it also guarantees the liberation, blessing and keeping of my soul because of that blood. God's faithfulness and justice are ever the twin guards that secure forever God's elect.