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For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
10:00 Bible Study:Video sermon by Pastor Ken Wimer
11:00 Service:Speaker, Randy Wages, Eager Avenue Grace Church
Birthdays:Kedrial Riggins – July 4th.
An extract from “Strait Talk”
Now some accept the indisputable fact that God is sovereign in all things, including salvation. Thereby, they rightly conclude that their own efforts to seek God would have no causal role in the finding.They recognize that God’s purpose shall come to past.But some react to this truth by choosing the path of fatalism in defiance to God’s commands for us to ask, seek, and knock.They deny man’s responsibility, reasoning, “If it’s really all of God, why should I do anything?”That’s a natural reaction but think about it.Isn’t that mindset a reflection of the natural mind’s sinful, self-serving determination that I will only act if my actions gain something for me?Such fatalistic reasoning is accompanied by the sinful assumption that there is no valid motive for me to seek or do anything beyond that which would be self-serving.And so they ignore His commands to seek salvation God’s way in rebellion against God and in defiance of the clear commands of scripture.Instead, in recognition to God’s sovereignty, we should be encouraged to bow down and plead for His mercy – and in the scriptures, that’s the description of all those who ultimately will inhabit His kingdom.
In Romans 9 we read how the Israelites of old sought after God but their efforts were futile because they sought it “by the works of the law” as all of us do unless and until the Holy Spirit gives us life. Once again we see that all religion fits into one of two categories – the religion of works or the religion of grace.
To seek salvation conditioned on the merits of Christ alone, His righteousness is the religion of grace.This is God’s way of salvation.Any other way makes salvation conditioned on the sinner, the religion of works, and is equivalent to seeking after God “by the works of the law.”It really is that simple.Seeking God based upon grounds He has excluded shall prove to be a fruitless search.But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ye shall find (Matthew 6:33)!
Randy Wages, Eager Ave. Grace Church – Albany, Ga.
THE LIVING WATERS
“Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar,” Ezekiel 47:1
The language here of Ezekiel the prophet is prophetic of the blessed work that the Lord Jesus Christ would come and accomplish for His people through His sacrificial death, to which all of the Old Testament sacrifices and priesthood pointed. The temple symbolized the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which dwelt the fullness of the Godhead. John 1:14 speaks of Christ the Word being made flesh and dwelling (literally ‘tabernacled’) among us. The front of the house facing eastward (which is where the tabernacle and temple on the mount faced), typifies the coming of Christ, the SUN of righteousness, which is where the physical sun rises. The waters flowing from the right side of the house, from under the altar, symbolize the life giving effect of Christ’s death (the altar). Usually, if you see water running from under the threshold of a house, you would think that there was a leak, and that the situation wasn’t normal. But here, it is used to describe LIFE, and the grace of God toward sinners for whom Christ came into this world and laid down His life.
What is the point of all this for needy sinners for whom Christ died? The waters flow, but they are not fed by any tributaries. There are no man made conduits to bring the water forth, not even a supposed ‘pipe of faith,’ as some endeavor to describe faith as the means of appropriating salvation. NO! The waters make their own channel, as God directs them, and that in a wilderness place, where one would least likely find water. And yet, not a drop of this water is said to run to waste, not even a single drop! Zechariah wrote of a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (God’s spiritual Israel-Galatians 3:29) FOR SIN AND FOR UNCLEANESS, Zech. 13:1. This is none other than the cleansing effect of Christ’s shed blood, and directed toward everyone for whom He died. Ezekiel found it up to his ankles, then to his knees, then to his waste, and then deep enough in which to swim, and a river that could not be passed over, Ezekiel 47:3-5. Is this not a description of the super abounding grace of God through His righteousness imputed at the altar of Christ’s death, from which flows abundant and everlasting pardon, grace, peace, justification, sanctification, and a true hope of glory? Romans 5:21. As the ancient hymn writer aptly penned those words, ‘Dear dying Lamb! Thy precious blood shall never lose its power, till all the ransomed Church of God be saved to sin no more.’ It is just such a salvation that was accomplished by our Lord Jesus in His death, and from whom flows every spiritual blessing and life for His own.