ďThis Is All My SalvationĒ†††††††††††††

2 Samuel 23:5

††††††††††† When David declared that the covenant of grace made by the triune God before the world began was all his salvation, he was declaring that which is true of all Godís elect. (1.) Our salvation was accomplished from eternity. Godís covenant is more than his everlasting plan, or even his eternal promise and agreement with his Son to save his people. It was the virtual accomplishment of salvation. When Christ our Surety struck hands with the Father, agreeing to redeem and save us, the Lord God looked upon it as a thing already done (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:3; II Tim. 1:9; Rev. 13:8). (2.) The everlasting salvation of Godís elect is a matter of absolute certainty. That which was provided, agreed upon, and promised by the Triune God in the covenant of grace must come to pass (Acts 13:48). ďThe foundation of God standeth sure!

IF GRACE IS BELIEVED GRACE DOMINATES†††††† II Corinthians 4:1-7

††††††††††† I am not an authority on preaching, pastoring, or anything connected with this the highest of all callings and the noblest of all works; but I am not a novice. I have been doing this work for a long time. One of the things I have observed over the years is this: Wherever the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ is believed and faithfully preached, grace dominates everything. We must not rashly judge or condemn any man or his ministry. Where people profess to believe and preach the gospel of Godís grace, let us be as lenient and charitable as possible in our judgments and statements concerning them. Having said that, I assure you that wherever grace reigns it radically alters these five things.

††††††††††† (1.) THE MESSENGER - A pastor or preacher who has been saved by the grace of God, who knows, believes, and preaches the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ, does not dilly dally in the pulpit, playing with menís souls. He does not waste his time defending theological positions, promoting programs, inspiring self-righteous morality, or working up frenzied fits of emotionalism. The man who has seen and experienced the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is both humbled and emboldened; and the burden of his soul is that those who hear him know, trust, love, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:1-5). (2.) THE MOTIVE - The pastor and church convinced of and committed to the gospel are no longer motivated by numbers, appearance, and success. They no longer crave recognition. Instead, they are motivated by and crave the glory of God (I Kings 18:36). (3.) THE MESSAGE - The message of Godís servants and of Godís church is crystal clear. There can be absolutely no question about what God has sent them to declare. ďWe preach Christ crucified.Ē ďChrist is all.Ē The gospel of salvation by Godís free and sovereign grace through the merits of Christís substitutionary obedience is the revelation of the whole counsel of God. This is not an occasional theme, but the constant theme of ministry in Godís house. The Word of God is not preached except as the gospel is preached (I Pet. 1:25). Any preacher who believes the gospel preaches it incessantly. Any church that believes the gospel demands that it be preached incessantly. (4.) THE METHODS - Where grace is believed the methods of Arminian, freewill, works religion are abandoned. The church ceases to be a social club and becomes a preaching center, a house of worship, and a banqueting hall for hungry souls. Gospel churches are built on gospel preaching, by the almighty operations of God the Holy Spirit. Where grace reigns, gimmicks die (Isa. 55:11). (5.) THE MUSIC - Where the gospel is believed and preached the music reflects the doctrine of grace. In the house of God there is no place for man-centered music, music that focuses on human works, emotion, and rhythm. Gospel music focuses on the praise of the triune God for his glorious persons, his gracious provisions, his good providence, and his great promises (Eph. 5:19-20).

Don Fortner