Happy New Year! It is my prayer that the New Year will be flooded with the manifest goodness and grace of God our Savior upon you.
January 1, 2012
Let every man called of God to preach the Gospel disentangle himself from the affairs of this world with determined consecration to Christ, His Gospel and His Church, addicting himself to prayer, study and preaching.
The Year is Gone! — Don Fortner (Tune: #497 — When I Can Read My Title Clear —CM) 1. The year is gone! How quickly gone! Number, my soul, your days! Another year, today begun, How fleeing are our days!
2. Twelve months have run their rapid round! How short they each appear! Yet, God be praised, His grace abounds And crowned another year!
3. What floods of blessings I've received! — A fruitless vine I’ve stood! But, though I have my Father grieved, He views my Surety's blood!
4. The voice of Justice says, “Cut down That barren, withered tree.” But Christ says, “Let it still alone. Be satisfied in Me.”
5. Numb’ring my days, oh, give me grace And wisdom to apply My heart to Christ alone always, My Savior God on High!
Redemption and Grace — The Motives for Godliness Philippians 2:1-5
Here and throughout the New Testament, believers are urged to godliness and obedience, not upon the basis of law, but upon the basis of grace. We are motivated and inspired, not by threats of punishment and promises of reward, but by gratitude and love to God, because of the mercy, love and grace we have received and experienced in Christ.
In verse one Paul gives us four arguments for unity, peace and love in the Church of God. Those who belong to Christ love each other; and we ought to walk in and build upon that love. Here are four reasons:
1. “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ” — The word “consolation” means “comfort” or “confidence.” If we have any genuine ground of hope, comfort and confidence in Christ, founded and based upon His person, His righteousness, His death and His intercession as our Substitute and Advocate before God, we ought to comfort one another and build one another up in the hope and confidence of the Gospel. 2. “If there be any comfort of love” — If we enjoy the comfort and strength of God’s love, the everlasting love of the Father, the redeeming love of the Son, the regenerating love of the Spirit and the brotherly love of grace, we ought to give one another the strength and comfort of mutual love. 3. “If any fellowship of the Spirit” — If we have been brought into fellowship with God and with one another by the Spirit of grace, we should constantly strive to maintain and build upon that blessed fellowship. 4. “If any bowels and mercies” — If we have any real depth of affection, any real compassion and concern for Christ, His gospel, His glory and one another, if our religion is real, if it is something more than lip-service to God, let us show that love and concern to one another.
If these things are not in us, if they do not flow from our hearts to the hearts and lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ, if we do not truly love God’s people, our religion is nothing but a vain show of hypocrisy! But if these things are in us, Paul says, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (v. 2). Let all the family of God be likeminded in all things! Let us be likeminded, of the same mind, of one accord in love, affection and care — in unity, harmony and peace — in mind, purpose and desire! These are fruits and evidences of inward grace.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Anything that is done through strife dishonors God. Anything that divides brethren is a reproach to Christ. Anything that is born of contention casts a slur upon the Gospel of the grace of God.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” That simply means that the way to promote this unity and peace, this fellowship and love is to look out for and look after one another and quit looking out for yourself. Don’t seek your own praise. Seek someone else’s praise. Don’t promote yourself. Promote someone else. Don’t be concerned about your own feelings. Be concerned about your brother’s feelings and your sister’s feelings.
Upon what grounds can anyone make such an appeal? The Holy Spirit answers - “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
“For He hath made Him [to be] sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). — He made Him to be sin for us, not just something that looked like sin, but sin in all its bearings, real sin, ugly sin, all that sin is. — He knew no sin, but was made sin in all its ugliness! —Pastor Scott Richardson
“He hath made Him to be sin.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) John Bunyan
“He hath made Him to be sin,” not only as a sinner, but as sin itself. Some, indeed, will not have Jesus Christ our Lord to be made sin for us. Their wicked reasons think this to be wrong judgment in the Lord. It seems, supposing that because they cannot imagine how it should be, therefore God, if He does it, must do it at His peril, and must be charged with doing wrong judgment, and so things that become not His heavenly Majesty. Against this duncish (blockheaded) sophistry we set Paul and Isaiah, the one telling us still, “the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” and the other that “God made Him to be sin for us.”
These men, I suppose, think it enough for Christ to die under that notion only, not knowing, nor feeling the burden of sin and the wrath of God due thereto. These make Him as senseless in His dying, and as much without reason, as a silly sheep or goat, who also died for sin, but so as in name, in show, in shadow only. They felt not the proper weight, guilt and judgment of God for sin.
But thou, sinner, who art so in thine own eyes, and who feelest guilt in thine own conscience, know thou that Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God in flesh, was made to be sin for thee, or stood sensibly guilty of all thy sins before God, and bare them in His own body upon the cross.
God charged our sins upon Christ and that in their guilt and burden. What remaineth but that the charge was real or feigned? If real, then He hath either perished under them, or carried them away from before God. If they were charged but feignedly, then did He but feignedly die for them, then shall we have but feigned benefit by His death, and but a feigned salvation at last — not to say how this cursed doctrine chargeth God and Christ with hypocrisy, the one in saying He made Christ to be sin; the other in saying that He bare our sin, when, in deed and in truth, our guilt and burden never was really upon Him.
He that can sever sin and guilt, sin and the burden, each from other, laying sin and no guilt, sin and no burden on the person that dieth for sin, must do it only in his own imaginative head. No Scripture, nor reason, nor sense, understandeth or feeleth sin when charged without its guilt and burden.
THE GRACE BULLETIN January 1, 2012
Grace Baptist Church of Danville 2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438 Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail [email protected]
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