November 13, 2005


The single most important aspect of every believer’s life is public worship. The only place on this earth where the Son of God promises to meet with, speak to, and instruct his people is in the place his people are gathered in his name.


Daily Readings for the Week of November 13-20

                Sunday            Acts 13-14                              Thursday                Acts 22-24

                Monday          Acts 15-16                              Friday             Acts 25-26

                Tuesday          Acts 17-19                              Saturday          Acts 27-28

                Wednesday     Acts 20-21                              Sunday            Romans 1-2


A Brand Plucked Out of the Fire” — John Newton


(Tune: #361 — Sweet Hour of Prayer — LM)


1.        With Satan, my accuser, near my spirit trembled when I saw

The Lord in majesty appear, and heard the language of the law.

In vain I wished and strove to hide the tattered, filthy rags I wore;

While my fierce foe insulting cried, “See what you trusted in before!”


2.        Struck dumb, and left without a plea, I heard my gracious Savior say,

“Now Satan, I this sinner free, I died to take his sin away.”

“This is a brand which I, in love, to save from wrath and sin design!

In vain thy accusations prove; I answer all, and call him mine!”


3.        At His rebuke the tempter fled; then He removed my filthy dress.

“Poor sinner, take this robe,” He said, “It is thy Savior’s righteousness.”

“And see, a crown of life prepared! That I might thus thy head adorn;

I thought no shame or suff’ring hard, but wore for thee a crown of thorn.”


4.        O how I heard these gracious words! They broke and healed my heart at once;

Constrained me to become the Lord’s, and all my idol-gods renounce.

Now, Satan, thou hast lost thy aim, against this brand thy threats are vain;

Jesus has plucked me from the flame, and who shall put me in again?


Gnosticism — A Dead Corpse

Gnosticism is the teaching that salvation is arrived at by acquired knowledge, not by divine regeneration. This philosophy of vain deceit denies the necessity of the new birth, denies that the believer is given a new nature by the Spirit of God, denies that righteousness is imparted and that we are made partakers of the divine nature in regeneration. Gnostics speak of God’s saving grace as nothing but a “principle” (an accepted philosophical rule). Gnosticism is a dead corpse that has been around for a long time. The early church was plagued with the heresy; and the church today is still plagued with it. Gnostics vainly imagine that they are the spiritually elite, that they were the only ones who have true, saving knowledge. They look upon those of us who believe God’s revelation of himself in his Word and trust Christ as our Wisdom as well as our Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption as ignorant people, without spiritual understanding. In essence, Gnostics are people who, as Paul puts it, know “Christ after the flesh,” by mere carnal reason, which is to say, they are people with religious knowledge who are totally void of grace and spiritual life, groping in darkness.



Holy and Without Blame

Lance Hellar — Missionary to Papua, New Guinea


The circumstances which occurred at the time of the crucifixion of Christ regarding the thief on the cross are remarkable and have long been considered as having much to teach us about the grace and mercy of God, saving faith, the righteousness which is of God, and substitutionary atonement. We should not fail to recognize however, that in these events we find much to instruct us about the great truth of the sanctification of the believer.


A Vile Man


We are told that this man was a robber (Matt. 27:38), yet clearly not just a petty thief. He was of such reprehensible character and conduct that the Roman authorities had imprisoned him, tried him in their court of law and found him deserving of the horrific death of crucifixion. The wickedness and hardness of his heart was great. Even as he hung in excruciating pain upon the cross, his very life bleeding from him, he reviled and blasphemed the Prince of Life (Matt. 27:44).


A Saved Man


But God, who is rich in mercy, had chosen this man in Christ before the foundation of the world that he should be holy and without blame before Him (Eph. 1:4). Nothing can frustrate the grace and purpose of God. At this climactic moment of time the Spirit of God came with mighty power. God commanded light to shine out of darkness into the heart of this sinner (2 Cor. 4:6), and as he gazed with natural eyes upon the visage of Jesus, which was marred more than any man, he was given the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The eyes of his understanding were opened and he looked upon this man dying beside him in a wholly different way. In faith he looked upon Jesus as the Christ of God, as his Redeemer, and as his Savior. But this was not all. This man was baptized by the Holy Spirit into a real, living, spiritual union with the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).


A Holy Man


To be in the presence of God demands perfect, pure, spotless holiness for, “there shall by no means enter anything that defiles” (Rev. 21:27). But this man died that very day. He had no opportunity, now that he was a believer, to progressively attain to higher and higher degrees of holiness. Yet, the Lord Jesus Himself expressly declares to this man, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The instant that this sinner was united to Christ by faith, he was complete in Him, sanctified, fit for heaven, not lacking in anything to stand before the thrice holy God, holy and without blame.


The Message


The wonderful message is that this thief on the cross represents every sinner saved  by  grace.  Christ in His death and resurrection broke the power of sin and



death, the dominion of the law, and triumphed over the prince of this world. The union between Christ and His people is of such a nature that they were partakers with Him in all these triumphal achievements, and therefore died to sin, rose with Christ in the power of His resurrection, and have fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (Rom. 6:22). The instant the sinner is delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love, is the instant he is sanctified, holy and without blame before the Almighty God who accepts nothing less than absolute perfection in holiness. The believer walks in this light, growing in the knowledge of the will of God, growing in obedience to this increased understanding, growing in love, growing in faith, growing in grace (Col. 1:9, 10) and bearing fruit unto holiness for one reason and one reason alone; because he is holy, sanctified in Christ Jesus.



“In the Ages to Come”


That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.”                    (Ephesians 2:7)


“Pause, my soul, and gather in all the powers of arithmetic, and try if thou art able to count what the exceeding riches of God’s grace amount to. Think how great, how free, how sovereign, how inexhaustible, how everlasting! All that a poor sinner hath in time, all that we can enjoy to all eternity, all is of grace. And what a title hath thy God chosen to be known by among his people, when, to make himself known more fully in Jesus, he styles himself ‘the God of all grace!’ All grace? Yes, all grace, and all sorts and degrees of grace: pardoning grace, renewing grace, quickening grace, strengthening grace, comforting grace; in short, all grace. And is all this treasured up in Jesus? Oh then, my soul, see that Jesus be thine, and all is thine. And mark this down as a sure unerring rule-as grace hath no source but in the Father’s love, so the exalting of that grace, in Jesus is the Father’s design in salvation. The brightest pearl in the Redeemer’s crown is that which shines with this inscription: ‘To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.’ Here, my soul, seek thy daily grace more earnestly than thy daily bread.”                         Robert Hawker




When I am weak, and distressed, and alone, and none to receive my tale of sorrow, none to express a word of fellow-feeling or care for me, in the living oracles of the gospel I see divine wisdom and loving kindness looking at me tenderly, compassionately, through the openings of my prison, and I feel that He who dresses the lily of the field, and numbers the sparrows, is near me, numbering the hairs of my head, listening to my cries, in all the treasures of His grace and power. He is the same gracious Redeemer and Preserver to every one that believes in Him.                                                                            Christmas Evans




Grace Bulletin


November 13, 2005



2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438

Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail


Donald S. Fortner, Pastor





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