Hymns for service: “The Solid Rock” – p. 272 “Face to Face” – p. 511
HEARTS ESTABLISHED WITH GRACE
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.”
-- Hebrews 10:9
If there is anything that will incite the regenerate heart to worship, love, and service unto the Lord, it is the love, grace, and mercy of God in salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do this so as to please the Lord and glorify Him. All other motives seek to diminish God’s glory and exalt man in some way or degree. In the preaching of the Gospel God the Holy Spirit applies the blood of Jesus Christ to the guilty and defiled conscience. He establishes the sinner’s heart with grace and not with anything else. The law will not inspire true godliness. It only inflames the desires of the flesh as motivated by fear of punishment and loss of reward. When it comes to acceptance with God, motive is everything, and the motive of love and grace can only be established in the hearts of sinners as we look to and rest in the Lord Jesus Christ for all righteousness and eternal life. Otherwise, our motive is no more than seeking to establish our own righteousness before God. This is evil because it dishonors God, denies Christ, and exalts the flesh. The heart that is established with such a legal motive is an evil heart of unbelief. This is why the emphasis of our preaching must be mainly Christ crucified and raised from the dead. This is not enough for self-righteous unbelievers. They need more than Christ, His love, and God’s grace in our complete salvation to motivate them in obedience. Why? It is because they do not believe Christ is enough. But we are born again know better. We know the fullness of Christ and our completeness in Him. Herein are our hearts established with grace and motives those which glorify God, exalt Christ, and remove all grounds of boasting in ourselves. --Pastor Bill Parker
“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” —Psalm 29:2
A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear with Thy righteousness on, my person and offering to bring;
The terrors of law and of God, with me can have nothing to do;
My Savior’s obedience and blood, hide all my transgressions from view.
The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is yea and amen, and never was forfeited yet;
Things future nor things that are now, not all things below nor above,
Can make Him His purpose forego, or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands, eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the Earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heaven.
—Augustus Toplady, 1771
THE RANSOMED OF THE LORD
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with
songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10). I hope the reader will indulge me with one short observation on the subject of Jesus giving Himself a ransom for His people. Never in all the annals of mankind was there ever heard of such unparalleled love. Suppose some generous prince, out of compassion to any of his captive subjects, were to abridge his pleasures, and give large sums of money to bring them out of captivity – how would the deed be applauded, and his name be idolized to all generations! But supposing this generous prince was to give himself for them, and exchange their persons in slavery by voluntarily surrendering up himself to such a state – what would be said of this? And yet the Lord Jesus hath done this, and infinitely more, not for friends, but enemies; not for those who loved Him, but those who hated Him; and not only by slavery, but by death. He hath died for them, washed them in His blood, brought them out of slavery and the shadow of death, and hath broken their bonds asunder, and purchased for them an endless state of happiness, and is gone before to take possession of it in their name, and will come again to receive them to Himself, that where He is there they may be also. Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth, for the LORD hath done it! —Robert Hawker