MESSAGE – The Glorious Person and Finished Work of Christ – Hebrews 1:1-3
CLOSING HYMN – The Cleansing Wave – p. 227
Birthdays: Rosa Jones – Feb. 4th
SUPPORTING GOSPEL MISSIONS IN MALAWI, AFRICA
I have prepared an information handout on the possibility of our church committing regular financial support of a true Gospel mission in Malawi, Africa. It is a mission that I truly believe is worthy of our support. Please read the handout, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
—Pastor Bill Parker
TRULY AMAZING GRACE!
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)
Consider this verse in light of our sinfulness and what we deserve and have earned from the one living true and holy God according to His law and justice. We are sinners who have sinned against God. We deserve death and hell. Yet, we need MERCY from God and desire PEACE with God. But TRUTH cannot ignore our sinfulness and our worthiness of death and hell. And RIGHTEOUSNESS cannot but demand that we be punished according to the whole length and breadth of God’s law. How can these two seemingly opposite principles work in our favor? Here is truly amazing grace – “Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven” (Psalm 85:11). This speaks of God’s grace in freely and fully providing what His TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS demand in and by the Lord Jesus Christ so that He has MERCY and is at PEACE with all for whom Christ died and arose again as their Surety, Substitute, and Redeemer. The psalmist wrote, “Surely HIS salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:10). This is the salvation that God provides for His people in Christ Who is our salvation. And it is in and by HIM, through His blood and righteousness imputed to His people, that MERCY and TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE can unite together in perfect, holy, glorious and amazing harmony. God is just to show mercy; He is righteous in making peace with His people. And it is all by His amazing grace in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, our prayer and desire are “Shew us Thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us Thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints: but let them not turn again to folly” (Psalm 85:7-8). “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” (John Newton)
—Pastor Bill Parker
“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18)
We cannot tell why one dies in infancy, another in childhood, a third in the prime of manly vigor, and a fourth reserved to the period of old age. But suffice it for us, that this happens not by chance, neither is it the result of caprice or carelessness. It flows from that unerring wisdom, whose counsels are formed on a view of all possible relations and consequences. The power of death being in the hands of the Redeemer, the duration of human life is, in every instance, determined by Him. None live, either for a longer or for a shorter period, than infinite wisdom has assigned to them. Reason teaches, that to His appointment we must submit, however unwilling, it being irresistible, and far beyond our control. So, as Christians, we should learn to acquiesce in it submissively, as the appointment of One Who cannot err. And know this – He Who holds the keys of hell and death IS our Redeemer and our Righteousness. IN HIM WE LIVE FOREVER! —James Buchanan
A GREAT AND MIRACULOUS CHANGE
In the new birth, God the Holy Spirit does not simply bring an immoral person to become a moral person. False religion can do this. This is not to say that all truly born-again persons should not be moral. As true children of God, we should strive for morality in character and in conduct. But many, many who have experienced a reformation of character and conduct have never been born again by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit works His sovereign and invincible power in the new birth, when He imparts the life of Christ to a spiritually dead sinner, He brings that person to see and confess his utter sinfulness and depravity. He convinces that sinner that he has no hope of salvation, forgiveness, righteousness, life, and glory in himself, not even in his best. He shows that sinner that it is only by God’s sovereign grace through the Lord Jesus Christ (God in sinless human flesh) and by the merits of His shed blood and righteousness imputed that salvation can be obtained. God the Holy Spirit brings that person, not simply from immorality to morality, but to faith in Christ and repentance of dead works (even the sinfulness of self-righteousness in thinking that his morality could contribute to attaining salvation). This is the great change that takes place when God saves a sinner. —Pastor Bill Parke