October 15, 2006
Eternal life is not what you know, but Who. — “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
Š Missionary Offering Today
Š Bro. Ron Wood is preaching today for Grace Baptist Church in Harrodsburg, KY, where Bro. David Collier is pastor.
Š We are privileged to have Pastor Gene Harmon here to preach the gospel to today. Bro. Harmon is pastor of Rescue Baptist Church in Rescue, CA.
Š We will have our Quarterly Fellowship Dinner today. There will be no service here tonight. Because many of you plan to attend the Bible Conference in Cherokee, North Carolina this week, I have decided to cancel our midweek service as well. — NO SERVICE HERE TONIGHT OR TUESDAY.
My Hope is Christ Himself Within — Don Fortner
(Tune: #142 — Jesus Shall Reign —LM)
1. When Jesus Christ was crucified, the mighty God, Jehovah, died!
The sinless One, made sin for me, that God might justly set me free.
2. Atonement made, redemption done, made righteous by Your dying Son,
With confidence, my God, I come, a sinner, to Your holy throne.
3. Born of Your Spirit, I’m assured that, one with Jesus, I am pure.—
Yes, pure in Christ, in grace I stand, my Hope is Christ himself within!
4. With Jesus I was crucified, and live by faith in Him who died. —
The life I live by faith, I see, is Christ my God, living in me.
5. Christ is the Lord my Righteousness, by imputation and by grace. —
The God, who died at Calvary, is the new man who lives in me!
You can be sure of this: — While you live in this world, you will never know exactly how you were convinced of sin. You will never know precisely how you were quickened by the Holy Spirit, or when. There is no need for us to know those things. In fact, anytime anyone thinks he knows them, he immediately takes his eyes off Christ and begins looking to those things for assurance before God. If you trust Christ, that is enough.—“Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” — “He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life.”
Ascending to the House of God
With each of these psalms of degrees, there seems to be a continual rising of thought. Psalm 120 speaks of our distress in this world of woe. Psalm 121 is a song about our help in and from our God. The 122nd Psalm is a song of anticipation. The 123rd is a song of confident faith. And Psalm 124 is a song of grateful acknowledgement, giving praise to our God for the blessed deliverance of our souls. Here, in Psalm 125 the pilgrim sings about the confident security of God’s church and kingdom. We should always come to the house of God in confident faith, trusting him and his goodness.
“They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever” (v. 1). — The emphasis of our song is the Object of our faith, Jehovah the Lord, our God and Savior. All who trust the Lord Jesus Christ are and shall forever be firmly fixed and secure, being kept in his omnipotent hand of grace. Winds and storms do not harm the mighty mountain. And when all the winds and storms of time are finished, God’s holy mountain, Zion, shall stand forever. Some are like the sand, shifting and treacherous. Others are like the sea, restless and unsettled. Still others are like the wind, ever changing. But believers are like a mountain, strong, stable, and secure.
“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever” (v. 2). — The Lord Jesus encamps round about them that fear him to deliver them from all danger (Ps. 34:7). Our God and Savior is a wall of fire around us to consume all who would harm us (Zech. 2:5).
“For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity” (v. 3). — The rod of the wicked often falls upon the righteous. Did not Cain murder his brother,Abel? Did not Egypt afflict and oppress Israel? Did not the Babylonians carry them away into captivity for seventy years? When the wicked have opportunity to afflict, they do so with gleeful zeal. Our God never promised to prevent that. Rather he teaches us to expect it.
What he does promise is that “the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous.” The righteous, God’s elect, have a lot that cannot be taken from us; and that lot is eternal salvation. Upon the everlasting salvation of our souls, the rod of the wicked shall never fall, much less rest. It is in the light of our eternal inheritance with Christ that we learn to speak of our woes in this world as our “light affliction which is but for a moment” (2 Cor. 4:17). Notice that the psalmist was inspired of God to assert emphatically that it is the revealed security of God’s elect in and by Christ that keeps the righteous from putting forth their hands unto iniquity.
Therefore we gladly leave it to our God to do as he will in his good pleasure in all things, both with the righteous and with the wicked. — “Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel” (vv. 5-6).
Ascending to the House of God
Our Joy — Psalm 126
In Psalm 126 the song moves up another scale. Here is our joy. Zion’s pilgrims go from blessing to blessing as we move through this world, worshipping our God, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream” (v. 1). — When the Lord God turned us by his almighty grace from the captivity into which we were brought by Adam’s fall, we were overwhelmed with joy because of his grace. Truly, his saving grace is “amazing grace;” and the sound of it is sweeter every day!
“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them” (v. 2). — Not only does he fill our mouths with laughter, our God makes his saved children a wonder among the wicked, transforming corrupt and corrupting sinners into instruments for good (1 Cor. 1:26-30), making those who were a curse a blessing (Zech. 8:13).
“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (v. 3). —Let the redeemed of the Lord ever rejoice in him, and show forth his praise continually. The Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us. What a great work that is! It is a work of great wisdom, arising from great love, obtained by a great price, and brings us all the blessings of God’s great salvation in Christ our great Savior. And all who experience it are made glad by it.
“Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south” (v. 4). — Though redeemed by Christ’s precious blood at Calvary, and by the power of his grace in effectual calling, so long as we live in this world we look for deliverance. Like Peter after his terrible fall, we must yet be converted, turned again by our God. And, soon, our very bodies shall be redeemed, turned from the captivity of mortality in the resurrection. The boundless river of God’s infinite grace in Christ shall make us glad forever.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” v. 5). — As we seek the Lord by faith, seek to worship him and follow him, we sow in righteousness (Hosea 10:12). We seek him and worship him in tears of repentance. Soon, we shall reap with joy all the blessedness of everlasting life with Christ in glory. This is our day of sowing. The resurrection shall be the day of reaping (Rev. 6:19; 19:1-6).
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (v. 6). — This is but a repetition of the former verse of our song, expressing the certainty of the matter. The gospel of Christ is the precious seed (Luke 8:11) that God’s church sows in the earth. How precious it is! Let us sow it bountifully as we move through this world. In the last day it shall yield a harvest of indescribable greatness (Isa. 55:11).