MESSAGE – The Just Shall Live by Faith (2) – Heb. 10:26-39
CLOSING HYMN – Look, Ye Saints – p. 141
BIBLE CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND
As you know, our Bible Conference with pastors Gary Shepard and Richard Warmack will begin this Friday (March 20) and continue Saturday (March 21) and Sunday (March 22). We know of some visitors coming from out-of-town, and we hope that all of you can attend the services to hear the Gospel of God’s grace and to meet our visiting brethren in Christ. A schedule of services and events has been included in this bulletin and will be available this weekend. Please be in prayer for this meeting and for those who are traveling to be with us in our worship services. —The Pastor
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)
God’s election of us in Christ before the foundation of the world gives us the reason we are made the children of God. God’s justification of us based on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us gives us the legal right to be the children of God. God’s adoption of us in Christ gives us all the privileges of the children of God. God’s sanctification of us by His Spirit gives us the nature of children of God. God’s preservation of us by which He brings us to persevere in the faith gives us proof that we are the children of God. —Copied
THE CHASTENING HAND OF THE LORD UPON HIS CHILDREN
Bees gather honey from bitter flowers, as well as sweet; so should we from bitter conditions. Crosses are Christ’s servants as they come and go at His command. They are sent to do us good; all is sent in love and best for me; for God will supply all our wants with His all-sufficiency. We should not look so much at freedom from trouble as to profit by it, to enjoy God by it, and strength to bear it, looking upon all that befalls us as appointed and ordered by God in His wisdom and love for our good – “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto”(I Thess. 3:3).
– Samuel Richardson (Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649)
RIGHT DOCTRINE AND SALVATION
It saddens me to hear preachers who should know better demean and belittle right doctrine as it pertains to the salvation of God’s people. I have heard statement such as, “It is not doctrine that saves us; it is a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Although it is true that it is Christ Who saves sinners by His death on the cross, it is only as God teaches us the doctrine of Christ in the Gospel that we as sinners are brought to see and believe in Christ for our salvation (Rom. 1:16-17; 6:17-18). I have also heard preachers say, “A person can know right doctrine without knowing Christ. Salvation is more than knowing dead, cold doctrine.” I have always been troubled by those who describe the Gospel doctrine, the doctrine of Christ, as in any way being “dead, cold doctrine.” It may be true that a person can “know right doctrine without knowing Christ.” But we need to consider two things about this:
(1) The problem with a person knowing right doctrine without knowing Christ is not that the doctrine is dead and cold. The problem is that the heart of natural man is dead and cold (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Psalm 53:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:19; Heb. 3:12; cf. 1 Cor. 2:14). This is why that, along with right doctrine, we must be given a new heart and a new spirit by the grace of God (Ezek. 36:26-27; John 3:3-7; Rom. 6:17-18).
(2) Although it is true that a person can know doctrine without knowing Christ, it is just as true that no one knows doctrine aright unless that right doctrine is empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead him to the beauty, glory, and sufficiency of Christ. It is just as true that no man will be led by the Spirit to the true Christ without right doctrine as revealed in God’s Word. Right doctrine identifies and distinguishes the true Christ from all counterfeits. True faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. The Word of God is right doctrine concerning the glorious Person and finished work of Christ as the Surety, Substitute, and Redeemer of His people. By nature man neither knows God nor His Christ. If left to his own imagination he will only find a false god and a counterfeit Christ. Read the words of Holy Scripture – “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). False doctrine always leads sinners to false saviors and false refuges. And even right doctrine without the power of the Holy Spirit in the new birth will fall on deaf ears. But there will be no true faith in Christ without right doctrine revealed by God to His people in the true Gospel.