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Grace Baptist Church of Danville
May 24, 2015
Had not the Son of God offered himself up to God as our Priest, we could never have been redeemed. Had he not opened to us the path of life as our Prophet, we could never have known it. Had he not effectually applied his purchased redemption to us as our King, we could never have possessed it.
· You are privileged to have Bro. Gabe Stalnaker here to preach the gospel to you today. Bro. Stalnaker is pastor of the Kingsport Sovereign Grace Assembly in Kingsport, TN.
· Bro. Todd Nibert, pastor of Todds Rd. Grace Church in Lexington, KY, will be here to preach the gospel Tuesday evening.
· I am preaching today at the New Focus Conference hosted by Knebworth Grace Church in Knebworth, England. Bro. Allan Jellett is host pastor. I am scheduled to preach Monday and Tuesday for the Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland.
· Quarterly Fellowship Dinner — June 7th
Happy Birthday! Billy McCormack-25th Larry Criss-26th
Nursery Duty Today — Jenny Bartley
Amazing Love! Eternal Grace! — Don Fortner
(Tune: #497 — When I Can Read My Title Clear —CM)
1. Amazing love! Eternal grace!
Redemption’s work displays,
In God’s predestinated race,
To His eternal praise!
2. God’s sons by Him were all foreknown
And register’d above;
Predestinated to a crown,
By everlasting love!
3. On this eternal, fix’d decree,
All things in time depend:
Salvation, perfect, full, and free,
And glory without end!
4. Predestinating grace and love
Transforms the chosen race,
And gives triumphant grace!
The Mystery and the Gathering
The mystery which God the Holy Spirit makes known in the revelation of grace is God’s eternal purpose of grace in Christ. The gospel reveals the mystery of God and of Christ. The doctrine of the gospel sets before us “the mysteries of the kingdom of God” (Matthew 13:11; Luke 8:10). The mystery of his will which is revealed to God’s elect in the experience of his grace, the mystery revealed to and apprehended by faith in Christ specifically makes known our eternal union with Christ our Covenant Head, and our election, predestination, and acceptance in him before the world was made (Ephesians 1:3-6; Romans 8:28-30), our redemption by Christ, our incarnate God (Ephesians 1:7-9; 1 Timothy 3:15-16), and our effectual call by God the Holy Ghost, assuring us of resurrection glory with Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14).
The mystery of God’s will that is manifestly revealed to his saints is the mystery of the new creation (Colossians 1:26-29; 2 Corinthians 5:17). All of this great work of grace is “according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself.” The Lord God has chosen to whom he will make known the wondrous mystery of his grace, when he will make it known, and the means by which he will make it known. — The preaching of the gospel!
“The dispensation of the fullness of times” is the execution of God’s eternal purpose in time, the accomplishment in time of that which God purposed in eternity. It refers to the final, full accomplishment of redemption and grace by Christ. There is a time appointed called, “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). In that great day, our Lord Jesus Christ shall at last redeem, or deliver, God’s creation from the curse and all the evil consequences of sin (2 Peter 3:11-13; Romans 8:18-23).
As a result of our Savior’s redemption work, this world shall be purged of all sin and restored to its pristine beauty. Not so much as a blade of grass shall be allowed to bear the curse brought upon it by sin. And when all things are created new, righteousness shall again flourish in the earth! The slime of the serpent’s trail shall not be found in God’s creation.
The words “gather together” literally mean “gather together again.” Here the Spirit of God assures us that all things will be reunited in Christ, all things in heaven and all things in earth. Primarily he is talking about the gathering of all God’s elect, but he includes the whole of God’s creation. There is a similar statement in Colossians 1, where Paul is also speaking about this great mystery God has made known to us by the gospel, and assures us of the ultimate glory of Christ our Redeemer in all things (Colossians 1:19-20).
When our Lord Jesus Christ comes in his glory and makes all things new, there will be a gathering together of all things in heaven and earth, a complete reconciliation of all things “in him, even in him,” to the glory of God. What a day that will be! No wonder John closes the Book of God with this prayer — “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!”
Justified from Eternity
Our justification was accomplished by the decree of God the Father in eternity. Yes, in the mind and purpose of God all his elect were justified from eternity. Our justification was actually accomplished by God’s sovereign purpose of grace in eternal predestination before the worlds were made. All God’s elect were redeemed, accepted, justified, blessed, and glorified in and with Christ, the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 17:8; Ephesians 1:3-7). This is not a matter of speculation or hair-splitting theological precision; but a matter of unmistakable revelation. Read it for yourself in the Book of God (Romans 8:28-32).
Our justification did not commence in time, but in eternity. Paul, speaking of God’s eternal decree of predestination, declares that all of God’s elect were justified in his eternal purpose of grace. As John Gill put it, “God’s will to elect is the election of his people; so also his will to justify them is the justification of them.”
God’s act of justification is an act of his grace and an act of his justice (Romans 3:24). It is God accounting and constituting us righteous, through the righteousness of his Son. From all eternity God has looked upon his Son as our Substitute; and looking upon us in Christ, we are, and always have been, righteous in his sight, “accepted in the Beloved” and saved by “grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
In the mind and purpose of God, Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and we were justified in him from everlasting (Revelation 13:8; Isaiah 53). God set up his Son as our Surety, our Substitute, and our Redeemer before the world began; and as such, in his own mind he looked upon Christ as having been slain for us from eternity. Because God our Father looked upon Christ as one already sacrificed for us before the world was, all the blessings of his salvation and grace were given to us in him (Ephesians 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:9-10).
Thomas Goodwin rightly asserted, “We may say of all spiritual blessings in Christ what is said of Christ himself, that ‘his goings forth are from everlasting.’ In Christ we are blessed with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). As we are blessed with all others, so with this also, that we were justified then in Christ.”
There are two facts which compel us to look upon justification as an eternal act of God.
1. Had it not been for the fact that God looked upon his elect as being righteous and justified in Christ from eternity, he would have destroyed our race as soon as Adam sinned. God spares the wicked for the sake of the righteous (2 Peter 3:9).
2. The Old Testament saints were justified by Christ, just as we are today. And their justification was just as full, complete, and perfect as ours (Hebrews 9:15, 22; Romans 3:25). They were not justified on credit, but by the blood atonement and propitiatory sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
The Grace Bulletin
May 24, 2015
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 576-3400 — E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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 7:45 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Television Broadcasts in Harrodsburg
Channel 6 - Sunday Afternoon 3:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 6:00 P.M.