9:30 am ----------------------------------------------The Message of Galatians – Galatians 1:1-5
10:00 am ----------------------------------------------------------------Who is This? – Luke 9:7-10
“ And he (The Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”Exodus 33:18,19
Mercy is, “not getting what we truly do deserve”. Grace is, “getting what we truly don’t deserve”. God showed mercy to us when He gave Christ what we deserved. And God showed grace to us when He gave us what Christ deserved. Christ received our sin, and we received His reward. Christ received our rejection, and we received His acceptance. Christ received our death, and we received His life. If God ever gives us the eyes of faith to see that, He will have shown us His glory!” – Gabe Stalnaker
Mercy Not Merit – by Martin Luther
Martin Luther, being asked which of all the Psalms were the best, he made answer, "Psalmi Paulini, " and when his friends pressed to know which these might be, he said, "The 32nd, the 51st, the 130th, and the 143rd. For they all teach that the forgiveness of our sins comes, without the law and without works, to the man who believes, and therefore I call them Pauline Psalms; and David sings, `There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared, 'this is just what Paul says, `God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.' Ro 11:32. Thus no man may boast of his own righteousness. That word, `That thou mayest be feared, 'dusts away all merit, and teaches us to uncover our heads before God, and confess it is mere forgiveness, not merit at all."
When The Lord Makes Up His Jewels – by J.C. Philpot
"As unknown, and yet well known." 2 Corinthians 6:9 -- God's people, as well as God's servants, are little known, and less esteemed in this world. It is God's purpose and a part of His infinite wisdom that it should be so. The Lord is training up heirs of an exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and preparing them for those mansions of holiness and bliss which He has prepared for them before the foundation of the world. But while they are here below, they are in a state of obscurity. We may compare them to a large and valuable diamond, which is now undergoing the operations of cutting and polishing in some obscure court in the city, no one scarcely knowing of its existence or value, but its owner and the jeweler who is patiently cutting it into shape. But one day it may adorn a monarch's crown! So while God is cutting and polishing His diamonds by trials and temptations—sufferings and afflictions—they are hidden from the eyes of men. But when the Lord makes up His jewels, they will shine forth forever in His crown! God has chosen the poor of this world, for the most part, to be rich in faith. Not many notable in the annals of learning, power, or rank—not many noble, not many rich, not many mighty, has He called by His grace to a knowledge of Himself. The Lord's people rarely possess any wealth, station, property, or worldly distinction. They are for the most part poor and despised, as their Lord and Master was before them—and such the world cares neither to know, nor notice. "They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up My jewels!" Malachi 3:17
I once knew a young man that graduated from a Lutheran seminary. He told a group of men at a breakfast one morning that the “motto,” of his alma mater during his last year of attendance was, “Back to Luther, back to Luther.” Of course this referred to the popular protestant reformer known as Martin Luther. One of the older, wiser believers among the group of men kindly said in his slow Texas drawl, “Son, you’ve not gone back far enough.” That’s a problem with many today.
There is no doubt that the Lord used Martin Luther. None can argue that John Calvin had five spiritually valid points. Charles Spurgeon was called the Prince of preachers, but Jesus Christ is the “Prince of Peace.” If your doctrine is not the “doctrine of Christ,” then you have not gone back far enough. (2 John 1:9-10) If you don’t go back to “before the foundation of the world,” (Eph. 1:4, Heb. 4:3, Heb. 9:26, 1 Pet. 1:20, Rev. 13:8, Rev. 17:8) where God the Father, with no influence apart from His own will and purpose, chose and gave a people to Christ to redeem, then you have not gone back far enough. If you don’t see that God, for the glory of His own great name’s sake, was pleased to make you (the ungodly) His perfect people in Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, then you have not gone back far enough.
I have a friend that calls it, “The beginning before the beginning.” Our salvation began with God before time ever was. Before God ever said, “Let there be light,” He said, “Let there be Christ.” God gave His elect, His chosen, to His Son to redeem in the fullness of time. If you don’t go back to Christ, then you have not gone back far enough. The believer’s motto will forever be, “Back to Christ.” Day after day, it is “Back to Christ.” He died to put away my sins of yesterday and today, so it is “Back to Christ. When the evil of today comes and goes, tomorrow it will be, “Back to Christ.” He forever lives to make intercession for us, so it is “Back to Christ.” Only then have you gone back far enough. – David Eddmenson