April 1, 2007
Nothing is more paralyzing than self-pity.
· College Grove Grace Church, College Grove, TN will host a Bible Conference April 27-29. Speakers: Bro. Bob Coffey, Pastor Donnie Bell, and Pastor Milton Howard. Bro Chris Cunningham is the host pastor.
HNURSERY DUTY THIS WEEK
Today: Shelby Fortner (AM) Laura Peterson (PM) Tuesday: Debbie Bartley
The Empty Tomb — Don Fortner
(Tune: When I Can Read My Title Clear #497 — CM)
1. The empty tomb that held our Lord
Should give us peace always.
Our sins are gone, forever gone,
The empty tomb displays.
2. With bitter tears and joyful faith,
Let us remember Christ.
For us He bore God’s awful wrath!
His blood, our ransom price!
3. His blood God’s justice satisfied,
The stone was rolled away,
And says to all who trust in Him,
“Christ put your sins away!”
Experience and Knowledge
Someone once asked Bro. Rolfe Barnard, “Do you believe everything in the Bible?” He replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t experienced it all yet.” The fact is, we cannot really know anything spiritually that we have not experienced. The Book of Leviticus is all about redemption accomplished by Christ, the Lamb of God, our sin-atoning Substitute. But, before we can know anything about redemption accomplished for us, we must experience that redemption. Redemption was accomplished before we came to experience it, but it is not known until it is experienced. By the arrangement of divine providence, we come to the Book of Exodus before we get to the Book of Leviticus. The Book of Exodus is all about the experience of redemption. Leviticus portrays redemption accomplished. Exodus portrays redemption applied. But no one can know that he was redeemed at Calvary until Christ the Redeemer is revealed in him, causing him to believe. In other words, we come to know that Christ obtained eternal redemption for us when God the Holy Spirit makes the gospel effectual to us in the saving operations of his grace. That is precisely what we are taught in Ephesians 1:3-14.
“Himself Took Our Infirmities”
“And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
What a beautiful representation is here made, in a short compass, of the lovely, and all-loving Jesus! With a word only, the Lord healed! Think of his sovereignty. Think of his grace. And let not the Reader overlook what is said of his taking our infirmities, and bearing our sicknesses.
Mark, I pray you, it is said that Himself did it. Jesus Christ personally did this. It is the Person of Christ, as God-man, in this instance, we are everlastingly to keep in view, not the person of the Father, neither the person of the Holy Ghost, for neither of those glorious persons took our nature, but the person of Jesus, God-Man-Mediator.
And I very earnestly desire the Reader to pause a moment over the wonderful relation. Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. In himself, there was no possibility of his becoming sick; for sickness is the sole effect of sin. And as there was no taint of sin in his holy nature, there could be no sickness, which is the sole consequence of sin. Yet, as by imputation he bore our sins; so by sympathy he bore our sicknesses.
Yea, in this sense, he knew and felt more what sin and the sorrows of sin and sickness are than the sinners themselves for whom he bore them. For as Jesus sustained the persons of his redeemed, so he sustained their sorrows. He that felt the whole weight and burden of their sins, and the divine wrath as their Surety, must have known more, and felt more, both of the bitterness of sin itself, and all the dire effects of it, than the whole body of sinners themselves.
And if, as it is said, the righteous soul of Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked, day by day, (2 Peter 2:7) what must have been the feelings of the Lord Jesus, during his whole life upon earth, in beholding the sins of his redeemed, and which he himself bore, and for which he gave himself a ransom.
Reader! do not dismiss this view of the passage, before that you have first considered what a most blessed opening it gives us of the person of our Lord. And let me add, that of all the arguments under the grace of the Holy Ghost, to restrain from the commission of sin in the Lord’s people, this is the highest and the best. Oh! what a sad return for such unequalled love! A child of God might well say with Joseph, when tempted, how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God (Genesis 39:9; Romans 8:13). Robert Hawker
“Prisoners of Hope”
“Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.” (Zechariah 9:12)
Once the Spirit of God reveals Christ in us, once he gives us a confident, lively assurance of faith and an assured hope before God, we are still, as long as we live in this body of flesh, “prisoners of hope.” I find within me “the company of two armies” constantly at war. When I would do good, evil is present with me (Song of Solomon 6:13; Romans 7:14-23; Galatians 5:16-17). Child of God, is it not so with you? Are you not constantly constrained, with the Apostle, to declare, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
That is not merely my doctrinal confession. It is my daily experience. Try as I may I cannot pray, except he put a prayer in my heart. I read the Book of God, but I cannot hear his voice except he speak by his Word. I cannot call upon him except he call me. I cannot run after him except he draw me. I cannot turn to him except he turn me. I cannot seek him except he seek me. I cannot worship him except he inspire worship in me. I cannot speak to him until he speaks to me. I cannot hold him except he hold me by his grace. I cannot resist the slightest temptation except he save me from the tempter’s power. I cannot but fall except he uphold me by the right hand of his righteousness. When I fall, I cannot cease from my downward spiral of iniquity except he stretch out his arm and catch me in his mighty hand. When I am fallen, I cannot get up except he pick me up and cause me to stand.
A Prisoner of Hope
Yes, we are prisoners in these houses of clay; but blessed be his name, we are Christ’s prisoners, and we are “prisoners of hope,” and ours is “a good hope through grace,” because Christ is our Hope. He “is the Hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof” (Jeremiah 14:8). We have been begotten of God by the resurrection of Christ unto a living hope, and that living Hope is Christ himself living in us, “the Hope of glory.”
The hope of the hypocrite shall be cut off, and his trust shall be as a spider’s web” (Job 7:14). But Christ our Hope “ maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost” (Romans 5:5; Lamentations 3:21-26). — “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. The Lord is my Portion.” Our hope is his mercy. We are “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Our hope is his great compassion. Our hope is his faithfulness. Our hope is his great goodness. Our hope is his salvation.
How delightful, how blessed it is while in this prison, ever to turn to the Stronghold Christ Jesus. Though I am a prisoner in this body of flesh, I am a prisoner of hope; and my hope I shall enjoy. I hope, at last, to be presented by God my Savior, faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!
April 1, 2007
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