Grace Baptist Church of Danville
January 24, 2010
“I cannot imagine a more horrifying thought than to wake up without Christ, without mercy, without hope.” — Copied
Š Rescue Baptist Church in Rescue, CA will host its Winter Conference next weekend: Friday – January 29th through Sunday – January 31st. Speakers: Jesse Gistand and Don Fortner. Bro. Gene Harmon is the host pastor. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org — Telephone: 530-677-1710
Š We will have our Quarterly Fellowship following our services this morning. There will be no service here tonight.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Jim Grant-26th Teresa Coleman-29th
NURSERY DUTY THIS WEEK
Today: Shante’ Birchum (AM) Emily Rice (PM) Tuesday: Jayalita McCormack
Exalt our Saving Lord — Don Fortner
(Tune: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name — CM )
1. Come ransom’d souls unite with me,
Exalt our saving Lord;
Tell of His death upon the tree,
And sound His praise abroad.
2. High over all He lives and reigns,
The everlasting God.
Since, bearing all our guilt and sins,
He saved us with His blood!
3. Made sin for us, the Sinless died,
God’s Son in deep distress!
Justice by death He satisfied, —
“The Lord our Righteousness!”
4. Exalt Him high, and higher still, —
Lift up the sinner's Friend,
Till all His ransom’d, by His will,
Shall at His footstool bend.
5. Exalted Savior, draw my heart,
And after You we’ll run,
Till time and heav'n and earth depart,
Then take us to Your throne.
Saved by Grace
All the religious world talks about salvation by grace. Yet, there are few, very few, who understand the character of God’s grace as it is revealed in Holy Scripture. Men and women love to talk about, sing about and hear about God’s amazing grace, as long as they imagine that God’s grace is in some way dependent upon them; but as soon as grace is defined in biblical terms, man’s opposition to it comes raging to surface.
Grace is an attribute of God which, like his love, is exercised only toward his elect. Nowhere in the Bible do we read of universal grace, or of grace bestowed upon mankind in general. The mercy of God is “over all his works” (Psalm 145:9); but the grace of God is upon his elect. The mercy of God is life upon this earth. The grace of God is eternal life. Mercy is anything short of eternal wrath. The grace of God is eternal salvation.
Grace is the solitary source from which the goodwill, love and salvation of God flow to his chosen people. It is, as Abraham Booth wrote, “the eternal and absolute free favor of God, manifested in the vouchsafement (infallible promise) of spiritual and eternal blessings to the guilty and unworthy.”
Arthur Pink wrote, “Divine grace is the sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in bestowing blessings upon those who have no merit in them and for which no compensation is demanded.”
Grace is completely unmerited and unsought. It is altogether unattracted by us. Grace cannot be bought, earned, or won by anything in us or done by us. If it could, it would cease to be grace. That is exactly what God the Holy Spirit tells us in Romans 11:6. Grace is bestowed upon sinners without attraction, without condition, without qualification. When God’s saving grace comes to a sinner, it comes as a matter of pure charity, unsought, unasked and undesired.
In Bible terms grace is placed in direct opposition to works, worthiness and merit in the creature (Romans 11:6; 4:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace and works will not mix. And any attempt by man to mix the grace of God with the works of man or the will of man is both blasphemy and a total denial of grace.
If you search the Scriptures, you will find that there are five things that always characterize the grace of God. Whenever men speak contrary to these five things they deny the grace of God.
1. The grace of God is eternal (Romans 8:28-30; 2 Timothy 1:9).
2. The grace of God is free (Romans 3:24).
3. The grace of God is sovereign (Romans 9:16).
4. The grace of God is distinguishing (1 Corinthians 4:7).
5. The grace of God is in Christ, only in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14).
Grace is not something God offers to sinners. Grace is the operation of God in sinners, by which he effectually saves the objects of his everlasting love.
“Earthen Vessels” — 2 Corinthians 4:7
We must face the fact that flesh is flesh. Though all who believe are saved by the grace of God, washed in the blood and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, so long as we are in this world, we are just “earthen vessels.” When Paul talks about that salvation which brings into our hearts “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” he reminds us that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).
The more we think of the utter weakness of our flesh, the more thankful we are that our security and preservation in Christ is not dependent upon our own weak nature, but upon God’s constant power and sustaining grace. We are so feeble that if the matter were left in our hands, we would all fall and perish very soon. Many cannot endure the teachings of Holy Scripture regarding this matter of our security and preservation in Christ, because it makes the whole of salvation a work of divine grace from beginning to end. It allows no room for human merit and works.
We do not pretend to live above sin. Sin is a sadly common fact of life. You will never find one of those men who lived and walked with God in the Bible bragging about his righteousness or his perfection. In fact, they all struggled with sin in their flesh. All of God’s people are like Paul. We have two natures within us struggling for supremacy; the one is good, the other evil; the one is righteousness, the other sin; the one is spirit, the other flesh. If we could avoid it, we would never sin. We abhor our sin as an infinitely evil thing! We long for the day when we shall be totally free from sin. But, for now, we have the treasure of God’s saving grace in these earthen vessels, so that the excellency, the greatness, the power and the glory of our salvation may be attributed to him alone and not to us.
Does this mean that God’s people are no different from the unbelieving of this world? Certainly not! The believer is like a man climbing up a hill. He does slip and fall; but his face is set toward the summit. The unregenerate man is always going down, because his face is set in that direction. The believer is like a man on a ship. He often slips and falls on the deck; but he never jumps over board. Our judgments may at times be wrong, like the bewitched Galatians (3:1). Our affections may cool like the church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:4). Grace may at times seem to be lost to a child of God; but it never is really lost. The people of God, like the church in the Song of Solomon, do become slothful and negligent; but their hearts awake (5:2). The sun is sometimes eclipsed; but it regains its splendor. The trees lose all their fruit and leaves in the winter; but they have fresh buds in the spring. Israel may flee before her enemies at times; but she enters the land of promise triumphantly when her journey is over. So, too, the true believer falls many times; but the Lord raises him up, and he shall finally enter into heaven triumphantly through the blood, the righteousness and the grace of Christ. It is utterly unthinkable that one of God’s elect should fail to enter into eternal glory. Like Jonah, we all may at times flee from the will of God; but grace will pursue us, preserve us and cause our hearts to return to him who loved us and gave himself for us.
I am like you, a man struggling with sin. At times, my sinful thoughts and my sinful deeds almost drive me to despair. But I am reminded by the gospel and by the Spirit of God that his grace is sufficient even for me. My salvation and my acceptance with God are not in myself, but in my Substitute. Like you, I am just an “earthen vessel;” but Christ is “The Lord our Righteousness.” He is all my Salvation, all my Desire and all my Assurance. I hang all my hope upon him. Do you?
January 24, 2010
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail email@example.com
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com